The Sisters of St. Joseph celebrate their Sisters who mark special anniversaries this year.
Sister Irene Fontaine entered the Sisters of St. Joseph from St. John’s Parish, Bangor, ME in 1970. Sister taught grades five through eleven, specializing in Theology and mathematics in various public and parochial schools in Maine and Massachusetts. Her assignments include Blessed Sacrament, Holyoke; Our Lady of Hope, Springfield; St. Agnes, Dalton; St. Mary’s, Milford; and St. Mary’s, Westfield. She has worked in Pastoral Care at the Dominican Monastery, West Springfield and also shared her skills with the sick and elderly in the Springfield area. Upon retirement Sister Irene has been volunteering as a Spiritual Care Associate at Mercy Medical Center, Springfield.
Sister Susan Swasey entered the Sisters of St. Joseph of Springfield from St. Matthew's Parish, South Royalton, VT. She served as an elementary teacher at Blessed Sacrament, Holyoke, St. Mark's, Pittsfield, St. Mary’s, Westfield, St. Matthew’s, Indian Orchard, and a high school teacher at Cathedral High School in Springfield. Currently she works as an elementary teacher at Blessed Sacrament School in Holyoke, where she has served for 32 years. Sr. Susan lives in Holyoke.
Sr. Anne Carroll (Jeanne Lawrence) was born in Woonsocket, RI and entered the Community from St. Augustine Parish, Millville, Mass. She first ministered for a time in schools in the Springfield Diocese and later in Newport and Middletown, RI. Sister served as principal of Central Catholic School in Worcester for 11 years and then for six years as a teacher at Trinity Catholic Academy in Southbridge. She went on to minister through the South Central Massachusetts Rehabilitation Resources in Sturbridge and South Central Massachusetts Elderbus in Charlton. Sr Anne is retired after serving the Community as Secretary for Social Security and Health Insurance. She lives in Holyoke.
Sr. Judith Carvalho entered the Sisters of St. Joseph of Springfield from Jesus Savior Parish, Newport, RI. She taught in schools in the Worcester Diocese for nine years including St. Mary’s School in Uxbridge, St. Stephen’s in Worcester and St. Mary’s in Milford. In 1974 Sister Judith was appointed principal of St. Agnes School in Dalton where she served for 14 years. Sr. Judith lives in Portsmouth, RI where she managed Maplewood Farm for 30 years.
Sr. Ann Marie McKenna (James Rita) was born in Springfield, MA and entered the Community from Blessed Sacrament Parish there. She has taught at Sacred Heart and Blessed Sacrament Schools in Holyoke, Immaculate Conception in West Springfield and Annunciation School in Florence. She also taught at St. Thomas in West Springfield and at Holy Name School, Springfield, where she also served as a Minister of the Eucharist. Sister spent three weeks every year from 1968-2002 serving at the Summer School of Religion in Sheffield, MS, teaching First Communion classes. Sr. Ann Marie also served as a member of the support staff at the Mont Marie Health Care Center. She is retired and lives in Holyoke.
Born in Whitinsville, MA Sr. Marlene Mucha (John Anastasia) entered the Community from St. Mary Parish, Uxbridge. She began her teaching ministry at Marianhill High School in Southbridge. Then, beginning in 1969, she went on to minister as a secondary teacher at Holyoke Catholic High School in Holyoke. She received the Harold Grinspoon Pioneer Valley Excellence in Teaching Award in 2004 and has been recognized by the National Youth Leadership Forum. She continued her work at the new Holyoke Catholic, Chicopee and Pope Francis Preparatory School until her retirement in 2017. Beginning in 1996, Sister has served as a spiritual advisor on Cursillo Women’s Retreats. Currently Sr. Marlene lives in Chicopee and tutors at the College of Our Lady of the Elms Student Success Center.
A native of Middletown, CT Sr. Dorothy Pilkington (Theresa Eugene) entered the Community from St. Mary Parish in Windsor Locks, CT. She began her teaching ministry in Pittsfield at Sacred Heart and St. Joseph School, as well Holy Family in Springfield. She has worked in Family Counseling at Catholic Charities, Springfield and as Director of Lay Ministry Program at the Passionist Monastery, West Springfield, Massachusetts. She was also Coordinator for Religious Organizations at “Bread for the World”, Washington, DC. Sister Dorothy spent many years ministering in Africa, beginning in Kenya as a missionary and lecturer at Kisii College. She was Director of Social Services at the Jesuit Refugee Services Camp in Kenya, as well as for the Jesuit Refugee Service in Uganda, and Director of the Income Generating Project in Nairobi, Kenya. Sister’s last ministry in Africa was with the Missionary Benedictine Sisters in Tanzania, East Africa where she served as the coordinator of St. Anna’s Orphanage for Infants with HIV/AIDS. Currently Sr. Dorothy lives in Holyoke and is a Social Worker for the Department of Children and Families, Springfield.
Sr. Cornelia Roy (Margaret Charles) was a native of North Adams, MA and entered the Community from St. Francis Parish there. She taught at Immaculate Conception School, West Springfield, Sacred Heart and Holyoke Catholic High Schools, both in Holyoke, and served as Associate Retreat Director at the Passionist Monastery and Campus Minister at the Newman Center at UMass, Amherst. Sister has also worked at various times for Diocesan Offices including the Office of Youth Ministry and the Diocesan Schools’ Office where she served as Director of Religion Curriculum K- 12 and Assistant Superintendent of Schools. In addition to her years as a teacher at Holyoke Catholic, Sister also served as principal as principal there for six years. Sr. Connie is retired and lives in Holyoke.
Born in North Adams, MA Sr. Maxyne Schneider (Dorothy Mathias) entered the Community from St. Patrick Parish in Williamstown. She began her teaching ministry at Cathedral High School in Springfield and went on to teach at Elms College in Chicopee, where she served for a time as Academic Dean. She was a guest lecturer at Springfield College, a visiting lecturer at Fitchburg State College, and a part-time lecturer at Regis College in Weston, MA. In 1996, Sr. Maxyne co-founded the House of Peace and Education, Inc. (HOPE) in Gardner, MA, and served first as a staff member and then Executive Director for 12 years. She subsequently worked as grant writer for Weston Center for Women, Holyoke, until serving as President of the Sisters of St. Joseph, 1911-1917. Sr. Maxyne, now living in Holyoke, is retired and serves in various volunteer capacities.
Sister Shirley Ann Davis (James Bernard) was born in Brattleboro VT and entered the Sisters of St. Joseph of Rutland from St. Michael Parish there. She taught at Christ the King School, Rutland and Mount St. Joseph Academy, Rutland, where she later served as principal. Sister also taught at The College of St. Joseph, Rutland before serving as Assistant Superintendent of Schools for the Burlington Diocese from 1998-2009. Sister has also served her Congregation for two terms both as Vice President and as a member of the Formation Team. She is completing her 10th year in the Foster Grandparent Program of the National Senior Service Corps of Vermont. Sr. Shirley lives in Rutland.
A native of Gardner, MA Sister Kathryn Flanagan (John Irene) entered from Sacred Heart Parish. She taught at St. Mary, Morning Star, Pittsfield; Blessed Sacrament, Holyoke; St. Mary Elementary, Westfield; St. Joseph High School, Pittsfield. She was principal of Our Lady of Hope School, Springfield, and she taught and worked as a reading specialist at St. Mary School, Lee. Sister is founder and a former director of St. Joseph’s Kitchen, Pittsfield. She also served as pastoral minister at Sacred Heart Parish. Sr. Kathryn is retired and lives in Pittsfield.
Born in Chicopee, Sister Diane Gaudet (Loretta John), entered from Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish. She taught in a number of schools in the Springfield Diocese: St. Mary’s, Pittsfield; Blessed Sacrament, Holyoke; Holy Trinity, Greenfield; Annunciation, Florence; and Holy Name and Cathedral High Schools, Springfield. In the Worcester Diocese Sister was principal of Worcester Central Catholic Elementary School 1973-1978 and associate superintendent for the Worcester Diocesan Schools 1978-1989. She also worked as a mental health clinician at Harrington Hospital and a guidance counselor at Trinity Academy, both in Southbridge. Most recently she worked at SCM Elderbus, Inc., Charlton and Tri-Valley Elder Services, Dudley. Sister Diane resides in Holyoke and volunteers at the Holyoke Senior Center.
Sister Shirleyanne Greene (Richard Louise) was born in Springfield, MA and entered from Immaculate Conception Parish, New Lebanon, N.Y. She taught at a number of schools in the Springfield Diocese: Holy Name, Springfield; St. Thomas the Apostle, West Springfield; St. Michael’s, Northampton; St. Joseph’s, North Adams; and, St. Joseph’s, Pittsfield. She was director of religious education at St. Joseph Parish, North Brookfield, St. George Parish, Worcester, and St. Teresa Parish, Pittsfield, as well as parish minister at Our Lady of the Rosary Parish, Worcester. She has been a receptionist at Good Will Industries of the Berkshires, Pittsfield, and worked in the Senior Community Service Employment Program of Elder Services of the Berkshires, Pittsfield. She also worked as assistant ombudsman program manager for Elder Services of the Berkshires, Pittsfield and Spiritual Care Coordinator at Mt. Carmel Health Care Center, Lenox. Sr. Shirleyanne is retired and lives in Pittsfield.
Sister Mary Harvey (Maureen Joseph) was born in Duxbury, MA and entered the Sisters of St. Joseph of Rutland from St. Andrew Parish, Waterbury, Vt. She taught at St. Peter’s School and Mount St. Joseph Academy, Rutland, and at the Community College of Vermont Rutland Site. From 1988–2003, Sister Mary served on the Board of Trustees of the College of St. Joseph. She was a journalist for the Vermont Catholic Tribune, Burlington and remains contributing reporter to Mission, a publication of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Springfield. She was a member of the Leadership Team of Sisters of St. Joseph of Rutland 1994–2001. After her retirement she was part-time group leader of discussions of Spiritual, Literary, and Artistic Topics at St. Joseph/Kervick Residence in Rutland. She has given talks about the history of the Sisters of St. Joseph, including its LePuy beginnings, and the Vermont Associates. Sister lives in Rutland and continues her work on a history of the first three presidents of the College of St. Joseph.
A native of Holyoke, Sister Kathleen Kirley (Catherine Thomas) entered from St. Jerome Parish. She taught at both St. Joseph Elementary and High School, North Adams before becoming an assistant professor in the Education Department at Elms College, Chicopee. Sister was director of Continuing Education at the Elms 1977-1990, and dean of Continuing Education and Graduate Studies there 1990-1998. Later, she continued to serve on the faculty and worked as assistant for planning. Before she retired, Sister served as archivist for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Springfield. She resides in Holyoke.
Sister Claire Belforti (Sr. Grace Edward) was born in Milford, MA and entered from Sacred Heart Parish in Hopedale. Sister has spent most of her time in education ministry in the Worcester Diocese at St. Peter’s and St. Ann’s in Worcester, St. Mary’s Southbridge, and St. Mary’s and Milford Catholic Elementary schools in Milford. She also taught briefly in the Springfield Diocese at St. Thomas the Apostle and Cathedral High Schools. She served at the LaSallette Conference Center in Enfield, NH and as an administrator at Mont Marie. Sister began her work as a parish minister at Sacred Heart Parish, Milford in 1985, where she remained until her retirement in 2008. She lives in Framingham.
A native of Somerville, MA Sr. Eleanor Dooley (Sr. Maria Assumpta) entered from Our Lady of Mercy Parish in Belmont, MA. She has taught at Cathedral High School, Springfield; St. Michael’s High School, Northampton; and, at St. Mary’s High School in Milford. Sister also served as a professor and later an adjunct at the College of Our Lady of the Elms where she taught French and religious studies. In 1979-80 she taught novices in India, and was a visiting professor for a year at Fujan University in China in 1996. She has also served on the Congregation’s Executive Board. After her retirement from Elms College, Sister volunteered at Holy Name School in Chicopee and spent her time pursuing her interest in Haiti and its people. She resides at the Mary’s Meadow, Holyoke.
A native of Holyoke MA, Sister Mary T. Shea (Kathleen John) entered from St. Jerome Parish there. She taught for 25 years in the Springfield Diocese including Annunciation School, Florence, Immaculate Conception School, Easthampton, St. Michael’s High School, Northampton, and Holyoke Catholic, Holyoke. She also taught at Sacred Heart High School, Pawtucket. In 1978, she became Director of Career Services at the College of Our Lady of the Elms, a position she held for 20 years. In 1998 she became Tech Prep Coordinator in the Career Service Office at Holyoke Community College. In 2003 she became the Web Site Coordinator in the Information Technology Department there, and held that position for the next 10 years. In 2013 she was reassigned to the Helpdesk and continues to work in that capacity today. Sister Mary lives Holyoke.
Sister Mary Magdalen Ward was born in County Leitrim, Ireland and entered from St. Joseph Parish, Pittsfield, MA. She taught in the Diocese of Springfield for many years, including Cathedral High School, Springfield and St Mary School in Northampton. She was principal for a time at Holy Trinity School in Greenfield and later at St. Agnes School, Dalton. In 1991, sister journeyed to Tarime, Tanzania where the Sisters of St. Joseph were opening a high school at the Kowak Catholic Mission. Assisting with the opening of the school, she remained until 1993. Upon her return, she served as a receptionist at the Dominican Monastery of the Mother of God in West Springfield. Sr. Mary Magdalen is retired and lives in Holyoke.
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