We celebrate the life of Sister Rosemary Wood, Sister Anne Georgine, in this season of Advent, anticipating the coming of Christ who is ever present in our lives. Rosemary was very aware of this presence in her life, reaching out and encouraging others with her forthright manner and keen interest in those around her.
A Sister of Saint Joseph for seventy three years, Rosemary was born to Anna Conarty and George Wood and grew up with her family in Queens. She entered the congregation after attending St. Joseph’s Juniorate and ministered in education for over fifty years. As teacher, Rosemary taught in many elementary schools and served as Principal in Most Precious Blood in Long Island City. She loved the children and was always there to guide and direct them. She taught in St. Christopher’s in Baldwin and served as a volunteer before coming to St. Joseph’s Convent.
Relationships were very important to Rosemary and she cared deeply for her family, staying in touch with nieces and nephews, enjoying the friendship of sisters and her many friends. Here at St. Joseph’s she took a keen interest in what was going on in the congregation and in the lives of sisters, staff and visitors. I think that is why she sat at a table right at the entrance of the dining room so she could greet people as they came in and yes, give her opinion and advice directly to someone passing by that table or visiting the sisters’ shop where she faithfully ministered with Mary Ellen Noone. Everyone who came into her presence felt recognized and of course had to hear a little chiding comment that gave a moment of joy or laughter to their day.
In this season of Advent, Rosemary enjoys the fullness of God’s love she anticipated all of her life. Perhaps she is still chiding us to influence our world so that love will overcome discrimination, violence and poverty. As she encouraged others, Rosemary encourages each of us to trust that God’s love can change what is broken in our personal lives and in the lives of those who are suffering. Let us live the words of Isaiah as Rosemary did: “He is our God, We have put our trust in him and he has saved us. We have put our trust in him and we are happy and joyful because he has saved us.”
Sister Rosemary Anne Wood, CSJ died on December 10, 2015 in the 74th year of her religious life.