In this autumn season of harvest and abundance we come to celebrate the abundant gifts of Sister Saint Elizabeth, a Sister of St. Joseph for almost seventy-two years. St. Elizabeth, Catherine was born to her parents Paul and Joseph who nurtured her faith and talents with love and care. Elizabeth continued that love and care for her family, always interested in their achievements and there for them when there were challenges.
Elizabeth attended The Mary Louis Academy and entered the congregation after her graduation. She earned a Bachelor’s degree from Manhattan College and her Masters in Early Childhood from Hunter College.
As a Sister of Saint Joseph, Elizabeth was drawn more deeply into an awareness of God’s unconditional love in her life and was impelled to share that love with the countless others she engaged as teacher and administrator on the elementary level in many parish schools in Brooklyn, Queens and Nassau. As a Director of an Early Childhood Center in Medford for thirteen years she shared her calm, assuring wisdom with parents, staff and of course God’s choices, little children.
Continuing to do whatever needed to be done in the spirit of our Founders, Elizabeth assisted in the Academy of St. Joseph’s English Resource Center for eleven years where I am sure she was an encouraging presence to countless students struggling not only with academic demands but finding their true identity in the midst of the competitive and self-serving messages received in our culture. Elizabeth modeled service, care and responsibility for others’ needs, a life lesson not to be forgotten.
Retirement was not in Elizabeth’s vocabulary and she spent eleven years of her last ministry in congregational service. Yes, Elizabeth shared an abundance of gifts in wonderful ministries but most of all she shared a gentle, compassionate spirit always concerned for others as she lived out her call to religious life in the way Jesus intended us all to be. We know that Elizabeth’s life was an abundant blessing in the lives of so many. As she enjoys the fullness of life, recognizing the God who walked with her every day, we need to open our hearts, realizing God walks with us on our journey, and share the abundance of our gifts.
Sister St. Elizabeth Montgomery, CSJ died on October 13, 2015 in the 72nd year of her religious life.