Sisters of St. Joseph of CarondeletApril 14, 2021

In Remembrance

Sister Maureen Nelligan, CSJ

Sister Maureen Nelligan, CSJ (Sister Maureen Thomas), 72, died Thursday, July 24, 2008, at Francis House in Syracuse. Sister Maureen had been a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for 54 years.

 Sister Maureen, the former Mary Ellen Nelligan, was born September 25, 1935, in Syracuse, daughter of Thomas and Agnes Moriarity Nelligan. After graduating from St. Patrick’s High School in Syracuse, Sister Maureen entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph on March 19, 1954, and professed final vows on August 15, 1961. She received a bachelor’s degree in biology and a master’s degree in biology, both from The College of Saint Rose, and completed post-graduate courses in theology and ministry training. Sister Maureen taught in schools in the Syracuse and Albany Dioceses for 20 years; served as college chaplain in Utica; worked in parish ministry at Holy Family Parish, Fulton; and was a regional superior for the Sisters of St. Joseph. In addition, Sister Maureen was an outreach worker for Catholic Charities at Georgetown/St. James, Cazenovia; and a family-support worker in the Community Action Program in Morrisville.


Sister Maureen lived life enthusiastically to the full. A woman of grace, beauty, character and skill, she immersed herself in her ministry with compassion and dedication. Sister Maureen’s deep and abiding faith and her personal commitment to making the world a better place changed the lives of hundreds. Passionate, creative, warm and gentle, Sister Maureen had an intuitive understanding of people which enabled her to bring out the best in those she met. Her inimitable style brought fun and energy to her family, friends and colleagues. Sister Maureen will long be remembered as a devoted sister and aunt, a faithful friend, a spirited, dynamic leader and a remarkable Sister of St. Joseph.


Sister Maureen is survived by her beloved sister, Betty (Robert) Caswell; her nieces, Beth (Bob) King, Nancy (Gary) Devroy, Kay (Phil) Spillane and Susan (Tom) Brederman, and their families; her dear friends and caregivers, Sister Joan Killoran and Mary Jo Coleman; many cousins, friends and colleagues; and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. She was predeceased by her parents, Thomas and Agnes; by her nephew, Tommy Caswell; and by many friends in the Sisters of St. Joseph.


Sister Maureen’s funeral Liturgy was held Monday St. James Church, 6 Green Street, Cazenovia. Calling hours were held in the church on Sunday with a prayer vigil at 7:00 p.m. Interment was in Our Lady Queen of Virgins Cemetery at St. Joseph’s Provincial House, Latham.


Contributions in Sister Maureen’s memory may be made to the Community Action Program of Madison County, Sister Gilda’s Orphanage in Haiti and the Development Office of the Sisters of St. Joseph, 385 Watervliet-Shaker Road, Latham, NY 12110. Envelopes will be available at the funeral home. Arrangements are by Tait Funeral Home, Inc., Cazenovia.