The Catholic Advocate Vol. 67, No. 6 June 20, 2018
www.rcan.org Vol. 67 No.6 June 20, 2018 The community newspaper of the Archdiocese of Newark Holy Angels jubilarian receives a day in her honor A s a teenager at Bishop Kearney High School in Rochester, N.Y., Sister Mary Foley, S.S.N.D., knew she wanted to enter religious life. “I had thought about becoming a sister for a few years, but felt it was the right thing for me between my junior and senior year of high school,” she said. “I requested to enter our formation program during my senior year.” She said she was drawn to the School Sisters of Notre Dame be- cause of the group’s international connections. “Many life events led to this decision: a strong belief in God and reflections on the fact that wealth and possessions do not make a per- son happy. There are more important things in life,” she said. Sister Mary, who is now cele- brating 50 years as a relegious sis- ter, has traveled all over the world spreading the good news. She began her ministry as a physical education teacher and coach in Rochester and later taught girls in the West African country of Liberia. When she returned to the United States, she served as an administrator and teacher in Roxbury, Mass. She was also a part-time counselor with Catholic Family Services in St. Lou- is, where her full-time ministry was the spiritual formation of women. “The call to religious life means not marrying and having children, but I’ve gained relationships with many people who I would never have known if I had not become a School Sister of Notre Dame,” Sister Mary explained. “I have formed close friendships that have nourished me throughout the years. I have been able to live in another culture and visit many other coun- tries, not as a tourist, but being with our sisters ministering with the peo- ple. I’ve lived in community with sisters from many cultures and have enjoyed learning a great deal from each of them.” Seeing other women heed the call to religious life is particular- ly rewarding for Sister Mary. “One of my most treasured memories was being in Guam when a young woman from a very small island in Micronesia took her first vows as a School Sister of Notre Dame. She had met one of our sisters at her high school and followed her home to learn more about Mother Theresa (Gerhardinger),” Sister Mary said, referring to the foundress of the reli- gious order. Asked if she would recommend religious life to young women, Sis- ter Mary responded in the affirma- tive. “There is so much need in our world for both prayer and the minis- try God calls us to. Being available to be with people in their need is very rewarding.” As a volunteer mental health worker for the American Red Cross, Sister Mary has assisted people in New Jersey and Texas. In Septem- ber 2017, she traveled to Houston to help residents who were affected by Hurricane Harvey. Sister Mary is also part of the lead response team for the Traumatic Loss Coalition in Bergen County and is a disaster re- sponse crisis counselor for the state. In 2002, she joined the faculty at the Academy of the Holy Angels in De- marest where, for many years, she accompanied the school’s therapy By Jennifer Crusco CLASSIFIEDS Pags 8-9 AROUND THE ARCHDIOCESE Page 10 APPOINTMENTS Page 11 GRADUATIONS Pages 15-33 JUBILALIANS Pages 34-60 dog, Luke, as he comforted people after traumatic events such as the Sandy Hook school shooting and the Boston Marathon bombing. Part of her ministry at the school also involves work with Pow- er Back, the school component of Partnership for Change that helps girls become advocates against peer dating abuse. On May 9, Holy Angels honored Sister Mary with an afternoon prayer service followed by Mass and din- ner. Sister Mary and several sisters from her congregation, including academy educators Sister Carole Ta- bano and Sister Kathleen Dunham, renewed their vows. As a special surprise, Academy of the Holy Angels Principal Jean Mullooly announced that the State of New Jersey, County of Bergen, and Borough of Demarest had all de- clared May 9 Sister Mary Foley Day in honor of the beloved educator’s numerous contributions to people throughout the world. During the prayer service, Sister Mary said, “This day is really not about me. It’s about God, and it’s about you, or maybe us. No one makes a commitment and keeps a commitment in a vacuum. You do it in relationship. It’s about how you interact with me, how you interact with each other. It’s that interaction that allows me to get up every day and say, ‘OK, God, I’m ready for the day, what do you have in store?’” Sister Mary also encouraged the audience to not miss the “extraordi- nary” in the ordinary. “Use your cu- riosity to find what you’re supposed to do in this world to make the world better.” Jennifer Crusco is the market- ing assistant for the Academy of the Holy Angels. Submitted photo Academy of the Holy Angels Principal Jean Mullooly, Sister Mary Foley, S.S.N.D., and Holy Angels President Melinda Hanlon.