Sister Mary Ellen Noone, CSJ
We celebrate the life of Sister Mary Ellen Noone, Sister St. Matthew, a Sister of St. Joseph for almost 72 years. The first line of the reading today says “When one meets a faithful woman, the moment is an awakening.” The reading goes on to describe, goodness, joy, empathy, purpose, integrity.”
What a perfect reading to describe Mary Ellen.
Mary Ellen was born in Queens to her Irish parents, Matthew and Rose. She had two older brothers Ed and Malachy and a younger sister Rose. She attended Our Lady of Mount Carmel elementary school and Blessed Sacrament High School. She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1947.
Mary Ellen’s teaching ministry took her to in Holy Name, St. Joseph Pacific St, St. Patrick, St. Philip Neri and – most notably Most Precious Blood in Long Island City where she served for 35 years. It has been said that “her name was gold” in the streets of Long Island City.
Mary Ellen taught the 1st and 2nd grades. Being the teacher of 1st and 2nd grades takes special gifts. Those years are so important. We learn not only reading, writing and arithmetic and the skills that we will use for the entirety of our lives, but also the lessons about a loving God.
In her later years when she came to St. Joseph Convent, she continued her ministry by becoming the keeper of the Better Buy Shop in the convent. There wasn’t anything that you could ask for that she didn’t have in that store. She continued to meet peoples’ needs.
Mary Ellen’s family describes her as the glue that kept everyone connected. Her mother and father impressed upon their children that they were each other’s best friends. Mary Ellen continued that family loyalty through the next generations. Her nieces and nephews would tell us that she was most understanding.
Mary Ellen was direct without alienating. She was accepting and not judgmental and she had a good sense of humor and enjoyed a good laugh.
The gospel that will be read today includes what we Sisters of St. Joseph would regard as our reason for being- That all may be one. We live and work that all may be one. Mary Ellen lived and worked that all may be one
We come today to honor a faithful woman. A woman who will live on in her family’s love, in the hundreds of students whose lives she touched, in the loving memory of her friends and in the gratitude and love of the Sisters of St. Joseph.
And so Mary Ellen as you now rest in the arms of a loving God, we say well done good and faithful servant.
Sister Mary Ellen Noone, CSJ died on May 23, 2019 in the 72nd year of her religious life.