Eunice Fitzgerald, CSJ

We remember her in the opening of the buds and in the rebirth of spring.

 March 1, 1924 – March 12, 2019

The Saturday before Eunice died, I had the privilege of praying with her. When I started to say the Our Father, she looked at me, smiled that beautiful Eunice smile that she wore all her life and struggled to say the words to a prayer she had said thousands of times during her life. I like to think she was singing those words. When I left her room, the words from a poem by Mary Oliver came to mind. “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one, wild and precious life”?

This morning, as we listen to the first reading, chosen by Eunice for her funeral Liturgy, we hear God say, “I know the plans I have for you. Plans for your welfare and not for harm – to give you a future with hope!”

 When Eunice proclaimed her “YES” to religious life as a Sister of St. Joseph seventy-seven years ago, I am sure she never realized the fullness of her “YES” or the “wild and precious journey” that she was embarking on. Like Mary’s “YES” to God, Eunice’s “YES” allowed God to overshadow her all through her life!

Eunice FitzGerald was born in Cambridge to William FitzGerald and Gertrude Murphy FitzGerald.  She grew up in Quincy with her three siblings, Mary Agnes, William and Anne. After finishing a year at Emmanuel College, she entered the Sisters of Saint Joseph, then began a journey that would span the archdiocese of Boston and beyond.  She taught in elementary and high schools in Lynn, Dorchester, Brockton, and Haverhill. She was the assistant principal at Fontbonne Academy in Milton and principal at Sacred Heart, Weymouth.

She also served as the Director of Development for the Sisters of St. Joseph, telling the stories of the CSJs.  Building relationships was at the heart of her ministry.

Her love for our Congregation and her joy and happiness influenced many young women to follow in her footsteps and enter the Sisters of St. Joseph. Two of those women, S. Kathy McCluskey and S. Pat Andrews are our leaders of song for Liturgy today and S. Ellie Wiegand is one of the readers.

Eunice loved spending time with her family, taking pride in each one’s accomplishments and rejoicing in every new birth. Eunice’s one, wild and precious journey took her to Italy at two different times in her life:  once to study Voice and again as part of her Sabbatical. She loved to travel and took advantage of every opportunity possible to experience the culture and the people.  She was fluent in Latin and Spanish.

All through her life, in every ministry she served, she shared her gifts of song and love for music with countless people.  Hers was a life of joy and gratitude, filling our world with love. Today we come to celebrate and give thanks to God for a woman who lived life to the fullest and trusted God to lead her. She now sings before her God and is reunited with all those who have gone before her. She leaves us with a question, “What is it you plan to do with your one, wild and precious life?  Rest in peace, Eunice.

Given by:  Denise Kelly, CSJ

March 18, 2019


REFLECTIONS Given by: Maureen Patten (Eunice’s niece)

Our hearts are heavy as the time approaches that we lay Auntie Eunie to rest. She was such an extraordinary woman in so many ways.  She instilled a love of reading in us and we will never forget the hours of sitting on her lap as she read to us. We will never forget the love for her family, her students and her music but most of all her love for God to whom she dedicated her life. 

She was always our biggest supporter and an inspiration to not only her family but to her students and friends alike.  As a former student said to me, “Sister Eunice will live on in the lives she touched”.  It didn’t matter who you were or where you came from, she welcomed everyone equally into her heart and that’s what made her such a special woman and a great Sister of St. Joseph.  Auntie, you are going to be missed but you are reunited with your family

and friends who have gone before you. Thank you for always being there for us while on this earth and continue to watch over us from Heaven.  Rest in Peace, Aunti