Sister Agnes Maria Cavanagh, CSJ
Sister Agnes Maria Cavanagh, CSJ, 79, died Saturday, August 15, at St. Peter’s Hospital, Albany. She had been a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for the past 58 years and died on the fifty-first anniversary of her profession of final vows.
Sister Agnes Maria, the former Nancy Lou Cavanagh, was born in Watertown, NY, on December 2, 1929, daughter of the late George and Helen Warren Cavanagh. She graduated from Immaculate Heart Academy, Watertown, and attended The College of Saint Rose, Albany. On March 19, 1951, Sister Agnes entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Troy, NY. Sister Agnes Maria received a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in business education, both from The College of Saint Rose. Sister Agnes Maria taught for 30 years in schools in the Albany and Syracuse Dioceses, including 13 years at Bishop Grimes High School, Syracuse, where she taught and served as principal. In addition, Sister Agnes Maria was assistant professor at Maria Regina College in Syracuse; accountant for the Chancery Office of the Syracuse Diocese; employment-benefits coordinator at St. Mary’s Hospital Amsterdam; medical-records staff member at Loretto Geriatric Center, Syracuse; and parish minister at several parishes in the Albany and Syracuse Dioceses. Sister Agnes Maria’s last years of active ministry were spent as a pastoral-care associate at the Villa Mary Immaculate, Albany.
Sister Agnes Maria was a brilliant woman, a gifted administrator and teacher, a lifelong learner. Her keen intellect, combined with her considerable business acumen and clarity of vision, earned Sister Agnes Maria the respect and admiration of her coworkers. Blessed with knowledge, kindness and compassion, she was a charismatic and unforgettable teacher. Sister Agnes Maria fought a long-standing battle against an unrelenting disease with dignity and grace, and her legacy will be her inspiring faith, courage and love.
Sister Agnes Maria is survived by her uncle, Bill Cavanagh; nephew, Stephen Cavanagh; nephew-in-law, Sean Lanphier; several cousins; many dear friends; and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. In addition to her parents, she was predeceased by her beloved brother, Warren; her niece, Sharon; and by many friends in the Sisters of St. Joseph.
Sister Agnes Maria’s funeral Liturgy was celebrated on Wednesday, August 19, in the chapel of St. Joseph’s Provincial House, Latham. Interment was in Our Lady Queen of Virgins Cemetery on the Provincial House grounds. Contributions in Sister Agnes Maria’s memory may be made to the Development Office of the Sisters of St. Joseph, 385 Watervliet-Shaker Road, Latham, NY 12110.