Sister Mary Teresa of the Holy Family, OSsR
nee Mary Teresa McCaffrey
Sister Mary Teresa McCaffrey of the Redemptoristine community residing in the Monastery of the Incarnation, Beacon, NY, died on December 9, 2014 at Lourdes Health Care Center, infirmary of the School Sisters of Notre Dame in Wilton, CT at the age of 87 years following a lengthy illness. Sister Mary was the first of four children born to Teresa Alice Taylor and Daniel Joseph McCaffrey on October 6, 1927 in Brooklyn, NY. She is survived by her brothers Daniel and Gerard (Barbara) and a sister Kathleen (John Janny), twelve nieces and nephews, their fifteen children and eight nuns who shared vowed life with her in the Order of the Most Holy Redeemer.
Sister Mary first entered religious life in 1947 in the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Brentwood, Long Island. After professing vows in 1949 as Sr. Teresa Miriam she was placed in charge of large classes of little boys in the parish schools of Our Lady of Perpetual Help and St. Mary, Mother of Jesus in Brooklyn. During 12 years with the Josephites she obtained a BA degree from St. John’s University.
Responding to a call within a call, she entered the contemplative monastic order of the Redemptoristine Nuns, located in Esopus, NY, in 1959. In humble obedience and with great courage she became a novice for the second time joining a young community creating a new monastic foundation on the grounds of Mt. St. Alphonsus Redemptorist Major Seminary. There she professed Solemn Vows in 1961 as Sr. Mary Teresa of the Holy Family.
By middle age Sr. Mary was enduring ever increasing physical infirmity. Yet she remained faithful in devotion to God, her contemplative vocation and personal devotion to the Holy Eucharist. Always available to her community, she served as Council Secretary for numerous terms, presided over the monastery library and gave willing ear and wise guidance to many new members. The lay associates of the monastery also benefitted from her direction. On behalf of many friends and benefactors she exercised the apostolate of the pen in generous correspondence.
Sr. Mary rejoiced in her experience of over 70 years association with the Redemptorist Congregation; as a child in their parish, a teacher in their schools, and as neighbor to their seminary in Esopus. She influenced many young boys considering the priesthood and later became friend, confidant, informal spiritual director or prayer partner to many Redemptorist priests and brothers. Throughout her life she was a golden thread woven into the fabric of her family where she remained a source of unity and wisdom and a model of faith and prayer.