Sister Mary Margaret Daly, CSJ


Welcome to this sacred space of Sacred Heart Chapel – to all present and to those who join us from afar.  We come together in great love and gratitude for the life of Sister Mary Daly, formerly Sister Helen Marie, a Sister of St. Joseph for 79 years. Nest week Mary celebrates her 97th birthday with her God who gifted her with her life.

Mary was blessed with a large, loving family and we are grateful that her cousin, Sister Mary Ann McCarthy wrote a reflection for today.  Unfortunately, Mary Ann is unable to be with us so I have the privilege of sharing her words.

“ Funerals are often thought of as a time of grief, sadness andsorrow.  And so, they are. But they are also a time of remembering the joy-filled tender moments that we have enjoyed with the one we have lost. Our faith tells us that no one is lost but all are transformed into a new way of being. Early on the morning of Friday, December 17, Mary experienced her own resurrection and entered into the joy of God. She now lives with us through the Communion of Saints. And, as our Beth Johnson has told us, she stands with all of those who have gone before us cheering us on, as we journey into the heart of God.

On December 26, 1924, Mary Margaret Daly was born to Patrick and Helen Daly. At that time the Daly’s lived on the West Side of Manhattan. As their family grew, more living space was needed and in 1928 Patrick and Helen moved their family to 32 Daisy Avenue, Floral Park.  32 Daisy became the center of life for not only Bart, Mary, Pat, Denis, Betty, Helen, and Joey but for the whole extended family.

Mary met the Sisters of St. Joseph at Our Lady of Victory, Floral Park. Her eighth-grade teacher, Sister Catherine Marie sponsored Mary for her entrance into the CSJs in 1942.

Mary began her teaching ministry at St. Brendan’s elementary school, where she taught the first grade. She continued teaching in elementary school at St. James, St. Francis of Assisi in Brooklyn and St. Stanislaus in Maspeth. In 1956 she was part of the team that opened St. Francis de Chantal parish school

In 1959 she began her high school ministry teaching Latin at Bishop McDonnell. She then taught at Bishop Kearney. Mary was appointed the principal of St. Teresa of Avila in South Ozone Park in 1967.

In 1970 she returned to teaching at Fontbonne Hall and then St. Brendan’s high school. Mary left her teaching ministry in 1977 and entered into pastoral ministry at St. Columba’s parish and then Blessed Sacrament.

What was very dear to Mary’s heart was her ministry as patient representative at St. John’s Hospital, Elmhurst.

Mary became librarian at Resurrection Ascension School. This was a position she truly enjoyed.

Mary concluded her active ministry at OLPH, South Ozone Park as a first grade volunteer teacher aide.  Isn’t it fitting that Mary who loved children, began and concluded her teaching ministry with the first grade.

You cared lovingly and tenderly for your family,
You shared generously of your time, talent, your very self. Your graciousness lit up the countless moments you spent with others.
You had a gift for speaking with the young and giving them encouragement, direction
You delighted in children. And they responded with joy.
You showed us how to live life with grace and dignity.
You are the valiant woman of the Scriptures who is clothed with strength and dignity and laughs at the days to come.
Many are the women of proven worth, but you have excelled them allAmen

Thank you, Mary Ann, for your reflection.  It’s evident that you were cousin and friend and companion to Mary.  You and Marianne Sennick were and continue to be a witness to us all of the importance and impact of being a faithful visitor to Mary – and all of our sisters in Maria Regina.

As a sign of Mary’s 79 years as a Sister of St. Joseph lived out in fidelity and loving service to all God’s people, I now place our constitution in her hands.

May Mary, truly a valiant woman, continue to walk with us in a spirit of gentleness, compassion and love that she lived so beautifully and faithfully.

Sister Mary Margaret Daly died on December 17, 2021 in the 79th year of her religious life.

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