Written on: February 20, 2017
Sister Faith McGahan, GNSH, formerly Sister David Martin, 79, died at St. Joseph’s Manor on February 20,2017 in the 62nd year of her religious life.
The following Words of Remembrance were delivered at her funeral liturgy by Sister Mary Courts:
FAITH… so many thoughts come to mind just in uttering her name and knowing how much these last few months challenged her.
I have known Faith for more than 40 years—we travelled together, watched the news in the evening, and whatever the occasion, we were always there for one another.
During those 40 years, Faith devoted herself to teaching her students in Jackson Heights, NY, Lowell, MA, Ogdensburg, Eden and Buffalo, NY.
It was at Sacred Heart in Ogdensburg that she met her dear friend Sr. Elizabeth Ann. Their life-long friendship was one of love and mutual respect.
Faith’s happiest ministry was her 30+ years of service to students, staff, and teachers at her alma mater, Holy Angels Academy in Buffalo.
Students found in Faith a kindred spirit. They sought her advice and confided in her. Whenever we went anywhere in Buffalo, there would be undoubtedly a HAA “girl” happy to greet her. An Alum recently put a notice of her death on Facebook. Within hours, there were dozens of responses from former HAA students. How sad she was when HAA closed.
Here are some examples of what the students said:
Faith was a simple, quiet person except when it came to the Buffalo Bills. We’d often watch the games together and to say she cheered loudly would be an understatement. Her maxim when the team lost… ‘There’s always next year.”
Faith was kind and generous, especially to me. In fact, she was always ready to help anyone, anytime. In fact, a nurse at St. Joseph’s Manor commented, “I liked Sr. Faith. She would be a person that could be my friend. I could understand her when she became angry because I would be angry about those same things. She didn’t always speak a lot but she never missed a thing. She knew when people were authentic.”
Faith loved her family! She was always happy when her sister called or her nieces or nephews dropped in for a visit.
My prayer is that she now experiences much peace in the loving arms of the Good Shepherd, to whom she had such prayerful devotion.
We love you Faith. Thank you for your FAITH-filled life.
For 58 years she was involved in teaching and the administrative aspects of education. Loved by students, parents and colleagues, she was a welcome presence with her cheerful smile and sympathetic ear throughout her years of ministry.
With the exception of 6 years in Lowell, MA, she served in her home state of New York in Jackson Heights, Eden, Ogdensburg and Buffalo. She taught one year at Holy Angels School before moving across town in 1977 to Holy Angels Academy where she served in the front office, successively as assistant, office manager and business manager until the school closed in 2013.
Born to George E. and Catherine Wilson McGahan in Buffalo, she attended both Holy Angels School and Academy, graduating from the Academy in 1954 and entering the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart the following year, 1955. She received her BA in History from D’Youville College.
Predeceased by her parents and sister, Madonna Nelligan, she is survived by her sister, Sheila Loveland and nephew David Loveland in addition to her religious community.
Funeral arrangements are as follows:
Services at the Holy Redeemer Sisters Chapel, 521 Moredon Road, Huntingdon Valley, PA 19006, will be on Saturday, February 25, 2017. A time of remembrance will be from 9:30 until 10:15 a.m., followed by the Mass of Christian Burial at 10:30 a.m. Sister Faith will be buried with her family in Buffalo, NY.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations in Sister Faith’s memory may be made online to the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart, or by mail at the following address:14500 Bustleton Avenue, Philadelphia, PA 19116.
Funeral arrangements by Beck-Givnish Funeral Homes, Inc.