Written on: May 5, 2014
Sister Mary Brendan Connors always felt that it was her destiny to become a Grey Nun of the Sacred Heart since she was taught by Grey Nuns at St. Rose of Lima School, Holy Angels Academy, and D’Youville College in Buffalo, New York. In her sophomore year at D’Youville she realized that she wanted to be a teacher. This part of her vocation was apparently in her genes; her mother and two aunts were teachers. Why the Grey Nuns? Through the years she knew them well as outstanding educators and compassionate women whose focus was on preparing young men and women to be leaders in their community and their profession. Sister Mary Brendan spent many years in secondary education at Holy Angels Academy where she also served as Principal. In 1975, she was elected to leadership in the Congregation, serving five years, full time and eight years, part time. In 1980 she assumed what she thought of as a temporary position at D’Youville to continue development of the student support services through a federal grant. This temporary position turned into 31 years, working primarily with low income and academically underprepared students to provide them with the support systems needed to complete their bachelor degrees. Mary Brendan is now retired and lives in Buffalo (where she has spent most of her life) and finds numerous opportunities for volunteer service in her parish and the Buffalo community.
My ministry at D’Youville College, a leader in health related programs, was particularly gratifying to me since the mission of the Learning Center and the mission of the Grey Nuns co-mingle—the pursuit of excellence in forming graduates who will provide compassionate service, especially to those most in need. I loved working with faculty and staff as equal partners in carrying out the mission of the College in the spirit of Marguerite d’Youville. My passion is helping people. As long as I have ministry that accomplishes that, I feel blessed. Jubilee is an opportunity to say “Deo Gratias” for all the opportunities that I have enjoyed in my 60 year journey as a Grey Nun.
We will be featuring all of our 2014 Jubilarians prior to the Congregational Jubilee celebration May 17 in Yardley, PA. Collectively these 15 women have served God and His People for 900 years! God Bless them and their families for the gift of their generous hearts and lives.