Marie Louise McCarthy, CSJ

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

Sister Mary Louise McCarthy, loving daughter of Florence and Helen Sheehan McCarthy, grew up in Medford with her sister Eleanor and brother Robert. Mary Lou taught at Immaculate Conception School Marlboro, Holy Name in West Roxbury, St. Ambrose in Dorchester, many years at the Boston School for the Deaf, Randolph and at Trinity Catholic, Brockton. Before she retired, she took the RIDE every day in her wheelchair to minister at St. Edith Stein Parish in Brockton.

 Growing up with two doting aunts, and her Murray cousins, Mary Lou loved her family and all the times they had together, especially down the Cape in their later years. Her nephew, Bob, was very special to her.

Though Sr. Mary Lou described her disposition as “average” on her entrance application, those who have known her over her nearly 88 years of life would describe her as compassionate, spiritual, dedicated, stubborn, brave and loving. Her relationship with her God was active and strong. Every morning she would say she had “breakfast with Jesus.”  The Risen Christ cross that hung in her room reminded her every day of the constant, intimate presence of Jesus, who was her dearest friend, one on whom she called to carry her through the most challenging times, and to help her to be her best self in circumstances that were difficult. She befriended many of the aides at Bethany who cared for her, and became a confidante to some, saying that “I just listen.”

 When items were lost and her dear friend Helen would call on St. Anthony for help, Mary Lou would admonish, “No, go to the Highest Power (the Lord God) if you want things found, or done.”  Mary Lou tended to her spiritual life.  She knew of the places where she needed to ask for grace. When others were grieving, she reached out with special care, wanting to bring comfort to the sorrowing. When her dear friend, Fr. Bob Kelleher, a lifelong family friend was at Marian Manor, Mary Lou again took the RIDE every Saturday to visit him. She reached out in all the ways she could to be a loving presence. One night, on a rare trip to the Emergency room, Mary Lou and I sat watching all the comings and goings in the corridor through the opening in the curtain. Afterwards, Mary Lou told me she now had a new group to pray for, because of this new awareness, all those who tend to patients in the Emergency Rooms – for their strength and fortitude.

 Deeply aware of the love and presence of God through Jesus, Mary Lou desired to grow more loving, more patient, more forgiving. She was on a spiritual quest until her last breath. She leaves those who are better for her presence in their lives, our lives, as she dwells in the place Jesus prepared for her, united with the One for whom she lived and longed.

 Given by Sister Betsy Conway, CSJ

May 7, 2021