Sisters Celebrate Special Anniversaries 2015



What a beautiful day--Sunday, June 7, 2015--for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Springfield who entered religious life 60, 65, 70 or 75 years ago, to celebrate their special anniversaries! The Sisters marked the occasion with a Mass and private gathering at Mont Marie in Holyoke, the Congregation’s former Motherhouse.

Msgr. Christopher Connelly, Vicar General, who celebrated the Mass, talked of “joyfully honoring the Sisters of Saint Joseph who celebrate significant anniversaries.” He added, “We acknowledge with esteem and gratitude the witness of all vowed women religious whose fidelity and goodness continue to enrich the Church.”


60 Years – entered in 1955 

Sr. Judith Levins

 Born in Rutland, Vt., Sister Judith Levins (Mary Patrick), entered the Sisters of St. Joseph of Rutland from Christ the King Parish there. She earned a B.S. from the College of St. Joseph, Rutland in 1962 and an M.A. in Theology from the University of Notre Dame in 1972. Sister taught at St. Peter’s School and Mt. St. Joseph Academy in Rutland, and both taught and worked in campus ministry at The College of St. Joseph the Provider, Rutland. Sister worked in religious education at St. Francis de Sales Parish in Bennington and later as pastoral associate at St. Peter’s Parish, Rutland. Sister has also served her Congregation as novice director and vice-president, and was president of the Congregation 1988-1994. She is retired and living at the Marian Center Health Care Center in Holyoke, Mass.


Sister Shirley Davis

 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 and then president. She was assistant superintendent of schools for the Burlington Diocese 1998-2009. Sister has also served her Congregation as a member of the Formation Team and as vice-president. She resides in Rutland and works in the Foster Grandparent Program of the National Senior Service Corps of Vermont.


Sister Katheryn Flanagan

 A native of Gardner, Mass., 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 is living in Pittsfield where she serves as pastoral minister at Sacred Heart Parish.


Sister Diane Gaudet

 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 resides in Holyoke.


Sister Shirleyanne Greene

 Sister Shirleyanne Greene (Richard Louise) was born in Springfield, Mass. 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 lives in Pittsfield and works as assistant ombudsman program manager for Elder Services of the Berkshires, Pittsfield.


Sister Doris Harland

 Born in Holyoke, Mass., Sister Doris Harland entered the Sisters of St. Joseph from St. Patrick Parish, Chicopee. She taught in the Springfield Diocese at St. Mary’s and St. Charles Schools, Pittsfield; St. Agnes, Dalton; Blessed Sacrament and Mary Immaculate Schools, Holyoke. She worked at Open Window Book & Gift Shop in Chicopee, 1977-1982, as secretary and bookkeeper at St. Michael Cemetery Services and in the Diocesan Office of Religious Education, both for the Diocese of Springfield. Sister also worked in the Congregation’s Insurance Office at Mont Marie, Holyoke, and as administrative assistant in the Mission Office of the Sisters of Providence, Holyoke, MA. She is retired and lives in Chicopee.


Sister Mary Harvey

 Sister Mary Harvey (Maureen Joseph) was born in Duxbury, Vt. 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 a 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. Sister is retired and lives in Rutland and is part-time group leader of Spiritual, Literary, and Artistic Topics at St. Joseph/Kervick Residence in Rutland.


Sister Kathleen Kirley

 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 Chicopee.


Sister Gill Reilley

 Born in Providence, R.I., Sister Marie Gill Reilley (James Daniel) entered from Blessed Sacrament Parish there. She taught at a number of schools in the Springfield Diocese: Blessed Sacrament School, Holyoke; Annunciation, Florence; and Blessed Sacrament, Holyoke. She also taught at St. Mary’s Grammar School in Westfield before serving there as secretary 1988-2010. She is retired and living in Holyoke.


65 Years – entered in 1950

Sister Claire Belforti

 Sister Claire Belforti (Grace Edward) was born in Milford, Mass. 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, N.H. and as an administrator at Mont Marie. Sister began her work as a parish minister at Sacred Heart Parish, Milford in 1985. She retired in 2008, but continues to volunteer her services to the parish as the need arises.


Sister Eleanor DooleyAfter graduating from the College of Our Lady of the Elms, Sister Eleanor Dooley (Maria Assumpta), a native of Somerville, Mass., entered from Our Lady of Mercy Parish in Belmont, Mass. She taught for 11 years at St. Mary’s Central Catholic High School in Milford. After completing her doctoral studies at the Sorbonne in Paris Sr. Eleanor returned to the U.S. where she taught Latin, French, and religious studies at Elms College for more than 36 years. For many summers she taught theological French at Harvard Divinity School and the graduate seminar in spirituality at the Jesuit University of San Francisco. She spent three years in spiritual ministry in India and was a visiting professor of world religions at Fudan University in Shanghai. She was a member of her Community’s leadership team for eight years. She lives in Holyoke and continues teaching spiritualty and deacon formation for the Springfield Diocese.


Sister Mary Randall (Robert Marie) was born in Newport, R.I. and entered the Sisters of St. Joseph from St. Augustine Parish. She spent ten years at Immaculate Conception School in Easthampton and later taught in the Diocese of Providence, most notably at St. Lucy School in Middletown. She worked as a pastoral minister at St. Thomas Parish in Providence 1976-2013. She is retired and lives in Milton.


Sister Mary T. Shea

 A native of Holyoke, Mass. and a graduate of St. Jerome's Elementary and High School, Sister Mary T. Shea (Kathleen John) entered from St. Jerome Parish in July 1950. Sister taught for 25 years in the Springfield Diocese at Annunciation School in Florence, Mass., Immaculate Conception School in Easthampton, St. Michael High School in Northampton and Holyoke Catholic High School. For the next 20 years, she directed the Office of Career Services at the College of Our Lady of the Elms.  In 1998 she began her career at Holyoke Community College - first in the Tech Prep Program with the College and high schools in the area. In 2003 she became the website coordinator and she continues at Holyoke Community College in the Information Technology Department. She also volunteers regularly at Homework House and is the computer tutor with the residents at Providence Place. For more than 30 years she has resided in the Flats of Holyoke. 


Sister Christine Swords

 Born in Springfield, Mass., Sister Christine Swords (Marie Christine) entered from Holy Family Parish there. Sister spent many years teaching Spanish at Cathedral High School in Springfield. In addition, she served as directress of novices for a time and also served on the Community’s Executive Board. After her retirement from Cathedral in 1994, Sister worked in the Development Office at Mont Marie. She resides in Framingham.


Sister Mary Magdalen Ward

 Sister Mary Magdalen Ward was born in Ireland. She immigrated to Pittsfield where she attended St. Joseph Schools and entered from that parish. She received her B.A. from Elms College and her Masters from Westfield University. She furthered her education at several colleges including Smith College in Northampton, where she was principal of St. Michael High School and vice-principal of JFK Junior High School. She taught at Cathedral High School for many years and was principal at St. Agnes School, Dalton and Holy Trinity School, Greenfield. Sister founded a teacher training college in Kisii, Kenya. In Kowak, Tanzania, she was headmistress of a secondary high school for girls which she co-founded with Sr. Kathryn Gallagher, a Golden Jubilarian. Upon her return to the States she worked for the Dominican Monastery of the Mother of God. She now resides in West Springfield.



70 years – entered in 1945


Born in New Bedford, Mass., Sister Rita Pelletier (Jeanne of the Sacred Heart) entered the Sisters of St. Joseph of Fall River from St. Joseph Parish. She taught at a number of schools in the Fall River Diocese including St. Joseph’s, New Bedford, and St. Jean Baptiste and St. Roch’s in Fall River. After time spent serving at St. Joseph School, Vinton, La., she returned to Fall River where she taught at Blessed Sacrament while also serving as director of St. Joseph’s Prep. She was director of religious education for the Fall River Diocese and coordinator of religious education at St. Mary’s in New Bedford, where she later served in the role of pastoral associate. She also worked in pastoral ministry at St. Francis Xavier Parish in Acushnet, Mass. She is retired and living in New Bedford.


75 years – entered in 1940


Sister Joseph Anna Hine

A native of Worcester, Mass., Sister Joseph Anna Hine entered from Sacred Heart Parish there. She served in many schools in three dioceses, Springfield, Worcester and Providence. Sister served in Our Lady of Hope, Springfield and Holyoke Catholic High School. She spent the most time in the Worcester area at St. Louis School in Webster and as librarian St. Peter-Marian High and St. Stephen’s Elementary in Worcester. Sister is retired and living at Mont Marie Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center.


Sister Norma MacDonald (Sr. Mildred Joseph) was born in Northampton, Mass. and entered from St. Mary Parish there. Sister worked for over fifty years in the Springfield Diocese at schools including Immaculate Conception in West Springfield, Blessed Sacrament in Holyoke, and Cathedral High School in Springfield where she worked for 14 years on the Attendance Staff. She lives Mont Marie Rehabilitation & Healthcare Center.


Sister Cecilia Mahoney

 Sister Cecelia James Mahoney entered from St. Peter Parish in Worcester, the city of her birth. Sister taught for many years in both the Worcester and Springfield Diocese including St. Louis School in Webster and St. Joseph’s in Pittsfield. She served the Congregation as Directress of Junior Professed and later spent ten years in the mission in Kenya, Africa. She served as librarian at Notre Dame Middle School in Pittsfield until her retirement. She resides in West Springfield.



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