Sister Anna Bridget Crann, CSJ


Sister Anna Bridget Crann, CSJ

(Sr. James Elizabeth)

October 5, 1941 – December 6, 2022

We remember her

in the rustling of the leaves

and in the beauty of autumn.


We gather this morning, in this season of Advent, to celebrate and give thanks for the life of Sister Anna Crann. Her waiting is over! She is now reunited with her beloved sister, Margaret, and all those who have gone before her into new and eternal life. Anna died on December 6, the Feast on St. Nicholas, the day of the saint whose kindness and generosity inspired the legend of Santa Claus.

Anna Crann was a lifelong giver of joy and service to others – especially at Bethany Health Care Center in Framingham. Hers was a spirituality of waiting: accompanying the sisters in their last moments of life to their eternal life. How she loved her ministry.


On the occasion of Anna’s thirty years of service at Bethany, she received the Employee Service Award for her “tireless enthusiasm, dedication, compassion, and hard work carried out in the spirit of the mission and values of Bethany Health Care Center”.

Anna and Margaret were born in Charlestown to James and Elizabeth Crann (as Fr. Jerry would say, “They were real townies”). Their parents came from County Sligo, Ireland. How proud Anna was of her Irish roots. Their brother, Patrick, and sister, Elizabeth, welcomed their twin sisters into their happy family.

Anna entered the novitiate in Framingham in 1960 motivated by her strong desire to do the works of God — and do the works of God she surely did her whole life. Her parish priest at Saint Catherine’s in Charlestown, when describing Anna in his letter of recommendation for her to enter the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1960, wrote that Anna “had a spirit of joy that radiated from her and she was gentle and gracious toward all.” She lived that joyful spirit all throughout her sixty-two years as a Sister of St. Joseph and that has made all the difference.

Anna began her ministry as a Montessori teacher in Haverhill. She soon felt a strong call to minister to our elderly and sick sisters at Bethany. She shared her gifts of joy, gentleness, prayer, and humor, along with her welcoming spirit, with everyone she encountered.

As we will hear in today’s Gospel, Jesus tells his disciples to live on in his love. And our faith tells us that Anna now lives on in God’s love and her joy is complete.

Given by Denise Kelly, CSJ
December 13, 2022