Christiana Cronin, CSJ

We Remember Her in the blueness of the skies and in the warmth of summer

January 30, 1923 – August 30, 2018

I don’t think I’ve ever said “no” to my aunt…but when she asked me to share reflections, I considered it…but, here I am. There is no way that Theresa or I can completely capture this woman who was such a special part of our  family and the Community of the Sisters of St. Joseph. We’ll do our best.

 My aunt was a much loved sister in the family of John and Elizabeth Cronin…a family of five girls and 3 boys, one of each is here today – Renie (her best friend) and Neil, as well as her sister-in- law, Peg.  Her-sister-in-law, Rita unable to be with us, will hear all about it tomorrow. Not many of us can claim having over 100+ nieces and nephews.  My aunt Helen (S. Christinia) could, and she knew every name, and stayed connected.

 During her 77 years as a Sister of Saint Joseph, Sister Christiana was a teacher, administrator, Community Leader, Pastoral Associate, and a flutist in the Community orchestra.

 She was ahead of her time in realizing the need for balance. She had a repertoire of “silly songs” (learned from my father) that she would share with her local communities. She wrote poetry for all occasions – feast days, birthdays, and anniversaries. She loved bike riding (probably up until her 80s). With the two Renies and Joe she was able to enjoy weekly outings. The frequent trips for ice cream that my aunt and I would take were the best times to get caught up on Family news, and for us to discuss all the CSJ Community issues.

Sister Chris was an avid fan of the Bruins, and a proud member of the  CIA (Castle Island Associates) In other words, she loved life and was great fun.

 On her 90  birthday, five years ago,  her Cronin/Atkinson family did a little teasing/roasting of Aunt Helen.  I’ll share just a few comments that were said:

“As she walks around Castle Island these days, the challenge is no longer how many times to walk around the island, but rather can she make it to the next bench.”

 “She no longer goes on bike rides with her sister Renie because, despite following six inches behind, she would still wander off the path.”

 “People used to ask Helen to pray for this or that, now they just ask “Hey would you take this message up with you?”

 As I personally reflect on my aunt’s life, on all that’s been said, what I know, and hear always from so many of you, is that she was a genuine, kind, loyal friend to each and all.

 For Sisters of Saint Joseph throughout the world, our relationship with God and every dear neighbor is core to whom we are. Those of you who have loved and ministered with Sister Christiana over her 77 years, I believe, would say this is who she was and how she lived. Her death is such a loss to our family and to our Community, but weren’t we blessed to have her in our lives.

 There is a song in the Musical, Wicked, entitled “For Good”

I believe this line says it all:

“Because I knew you…I have been changed for good.


Given by: Mary Theresa O’Reilly, CSJ

September 4, 2018