Sister Edna Marie Barbadoro, CSJ

Sister Edna Marie Barbadoro, CSJ

July 4, 1922 – August 23, 2022

We remember her

In the blueness of the skies

And in the warmth of summer


Reflecting on the life of Sister Edna Marie Barbadoro, our sister, aunt, grand and great-grand aunt, and friend – a life so vibrant, so full of service to God, neighbor without distinction, and country – has been, indeed, a privilege!

On July 4 of this year, Edna Marie celebrated her one-hundredth birthday. She lived her life with love, prayer, grace, compassion, dignity, gentle strength, and faithfulness to her calls as a nurse and a Sister of St. Joseph for seventy-three years.

Whenever I visited Edna Marie at Bethany, she would be praying her rosary for someone’s intention or a world situation. It was a privilege to pray the rosary with her. “Small things with great love” – as Mother Teresa often said.

Gloria Edna was born to Amedeo and Edna Barbadoro and grew up in Marlboro. She was the oldest of three children. Helen and Anne adored their big sister.

Gloria Edna was very involved in her parish, Immaculate Conception Church in Marlboro.

As a teenager, she volunteered in the local hospital. I am sure it was this experience that drew her to a love for and commitment to nursing.

When she graduated from Marlboro High School, she went on to Nursing School and earned her RN degree from St. Elizabeth’s Nursing School in Brighton. After she finished her studies at St. Elizabeth’s, she served our country as an army nurse before entering the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1948.

Edna Marie’s ministries included nursing at Bethany Health Care Center; St. Elizabeth’s Hospital; the Motherhouse in Brighton; Home Health Services in Newton. She also taught at St. Aidan’s, Brookline, and St. Ann’s in Dorchester.

When she applied for a well-deserved sabbatical in 1992, she wrote on her application:

“The dream I have for myself is to be a contemplative person who writes poetry; short prose pieces, and dabbles with crayons, magic markers and possibly watercolor and all the while being aware of the crying needs of the world”!

She was an artist at her core and she showered her gifts and talents on everyone she met.

When Edna Marie retired, she continued to hear the crying needs of the dear neighbor. She volunteered at the Metro West Hospital; she was on the front lines of the Samaritan Hotline and she visited and brought comfort to those living with HIV/AIDS at the New Beginning’s community at Bethany Hill Place in Framingham. She was a presence of hope and healing to communities that were invisible to so many. She became the face of God’s love and comfort to those living on our society’s margins.

May our farewell for our sister, Edna Marie, express our affection for her, may it ease our sadness and strengthen our hope. And one day we shall greet her again in God’s kingdom.

Given by Denise Kelley, CSJ August 29, 2022