We celebrate the life of Sister Noraleen Murphy, a Sister of Saint Joseph for nearly sixty-nine years. Noraleen is the daughter of Timothy and Catherine, simple and faith-filled Irish immigrants who provided a Catholic school education for Noraleen at St. Joseph’s in Brooklyn which she continued at Bishop McDonnell High School. Attentive to God speaking to her heart, Noraleen responded by entering our congregation where she lived a life that was simple, prayerful, courageous and compassionate as teacher of young children and religious educator here and in Puerto Rico.
Noraleen was truly ‘sister of the neighborhood” especially in her beloved Brooklyn. She shared her faith and understanding with countless children and was present to the dear neighbor as pastoral minister in Our Lady of Perpetual Help for nearly thirty years. It has been said she was known as the “Mother Theresa of Sunset Park.”
Simple, prayerful and present, Noraleen carried the Easter message of God’s unconditional love to the lonely, sorrowing and the struggling. Her gentle and warm countenance was a healing reconciling presence to many who came to know God through her. As we await the coming of the Spirit at Pentecost we will hear in today’s reading from Isaiah: “The Spirit of God is upon me….He has sent me to bring glad tidings to the lowly, to heal the brokenhearted.” Noraleen responded to that call with her entire life. We now know she enjoys the fullness of the love she shared so generously with others.
Sister Noraleen Murphy, CSJ died on May 3, 2015 in the 69th year of her religious life.