Written on: March 27, 2018
Sister Mary O’Connell (Sister Thomas Francis) claims Philadelphia as her home. It was at Little Flower High School that she met the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart for the first time and after graduation, she entered the congregation.
As most Grey Nuns, she spent her early years in education, teaching at St. Mary’s High School in Ogdensburg, New York, as well as at her alma mater, Little Flower, and at D’Youville College in Buffalo, New York.
Her background in business prepared her well to serve as Director of Student Financial Aid at D’Youville College and then as Assistant Treasurer for the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart for more than eighteen years.
It was during these years that she lived in Trenton, New Jersey as she mentions in her reflection below. Sister Mary then transitioned to the Congregational Advancement Office where she was Director of Development.
In her retirement years, she shares life with the Grey Nuns of the Sacred Heart who reside at Holy Redeemer Lafayette.
These 70 years have been such a blessing for me. One of the many blessings was the opportunity to work with the poor, especially during my seven years as Assistant to the Catholic Chaplain at the prison in Buffalo. At the time of my 25th Jubilee, a prisoner was released in my honor. What a gift that was for me!
Other experiences include sleeping with the shopping bag ladies every Saturday night for a year at St. Francis Inn in Philadelphia, and living among the poor in Trenton’s inner city for 18 years. l could never have done any of these had I not been a Grey Nun of the Sacred Heart and had the blessing of my God, my sisters and superiors. I have had a wonderful 70 years.