In this season of Advent, a time anticipation and hope, we gather to celebrate the life of Theresa Molphy, a Sister of St. Joseph for seventy two years.
Theresa was born to John and Theresa in Queens, in Incarnation Parish. There were no parochial schools in the area so, Theresa attended public school and then The Mary Louis Academy. After graduation,Theresa entered the congregation joining her sister, Sister Theresa Elizabeth.
Theresa taught elementary grades in St. Benedict Joseph, St. Angela Hall, Our Lady of Perpetual Help and then came to St. Anne’s in Brentwood. She ministered in our Academy’s pharmacy beginning her studies in nursing. Theresa obtained a degree in Nursing from St. John’s University and began her thirty-eight year ministry as a nurse in St. Joseph’s Hospital, St, John’s, Good Samaritan, and as a Visiting Nurse and Public Health Nurse with the Nursing Sisters of the Sick Poor where she did all humanly possible to assure her patients would continue to receive the care they needed. She also served as a School Nurse at St. Francis Prep. In her later ministry as an Assistant Director of Nursing in our Maria Regina Residence, Theresa ministered to our sisters with compassion and care.
During these years, Theresa was close with her family and we are grateful that some have come from Texas and Miami, Delaware and New Jersey to be with us today. She also formed lasting friendships with our Sisters, Marie de Montfort and Anne Lorraine, sharing prayer and a good bit of fun. Those fun times included time with Marie’s family where she was known as Aunt “T,” and also as a very competitive ping pong player, but perhaps not as competitive as when she played Scrabble.
Theresa engaged fully in life, as a nurse and as someone who saw a need and did all that was possible to meet it. Along with Linda Vdorick she cared for a deaf woman who had multiple challenges and welcomed her to their home for respite care. Living God’s call to bring peace and healing to our world, Theresa joined our sisters to protest for the closing of the School of the Americas. She could only do all of this because of her deep faith and attentive listening to God speaking to her heart.
In this season of Advent, we are called to be people of hope, voices of comfort for those crying for equality and empowerment. Theresa was that voice of comfort for all of the lives she touched. She truly cared about each person and in her last years here in St. Joseph’s Convent, she extended that loving care to those who cared for her.
Theresa, we are confident that you now enjoy the fullness of live promised in this Advent season. Many of us remember your kind questioning of “How are you doing kid?” Well we will be fine because we know you will continue the promise you always made to us: “I’m praying for you.” Let us pray for one another that as Theresa taught us, we will be that caring, comforting and empowering presence to all we meet.
Sister Theresa Molphy, CSJ died on December 9, 2019 in the 72nd year of her religious life.