Sister Ellen Michele Cullen, CSJ
Sister Ellen Michele Cullen, CSJ, 80, died Thursday, September 15, 2011, at St. Joseph’s Provincial House, Latham, NY. She had been a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for the past 59 years.
Sister Ellen Michele, the former Elizabeth Louise Cullen, was born December 26, 1930 in Binghamton, NY, daughter of the late Michael and Elizabeth Monninger Cullen. She graduated from Binghamton Central High School and attended The College of Saint Rose. On March 19, 1952, Sister Ellen entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph and professed final vows on August 15, 1959. She received a bachelor’s degree in sociology from The College of Saint Rose and a master’s degree in urban education from Boston College. Sister Ellen served as teacher and principal in schools in the Albany and Syracuse Dioceses, including 10 years at St. Mary’s School in Hudson, and 22 years at St. Brigid’s School, Watervliet. In addition, she was an instructor in sociology for two years at The College of Saint Rose. In 2002, Sister Ellen moved to St. Joseph’s Provincial House where she continued her life of service as a volunteer in the Development Office.
A gifted and compassionate teacher, Sister Ellen Michele’s education ministry spanned five decades and touched thousands of students, families and faculty members. In the classroom and outside of it, Sister Ellen influenced those whom she met with her understanding heart, her ready smile and her genuine, loving concern. Wherever she served, Sister Ellen left the grace of her presence, the promise of her prayer and the excellence of her ministry; she was an educator in the fullest sense of the word. A faithful friend, a devoted Sister of St. Joseph and a woman of prayer, Sister Ellen Michele will be dearly missed.
Sister Ellen Michele is survived by her nephews: John Cullen of Lafayette, CO; Dr. James (Susan) Cullen of Tully, NY; and Michael (Monica) Redding and family of Rushville, PA; her sister-in-law, Patricia Cullen of Utica, NY; many cousins and friends; and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, with special mention of her beloved friend, Sister James Michael Ryan. In addition to her parents, Sister Ellen was predeceased by her sisters: Helen Redding and Sister Elizabeth Thomas Cullen; her brother, John Cullen; her nephews, Kevin and Francis Redding; and by many dear friends in the Sisters of St. Joseph.
Sister Ellen Michele’s funeral Liturgy was held Tuesday, September 20 from 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 Ellen Michele’s memory may be made to the Development Office of the Sisters of St. Joseph, 385 Watervliet-Shaker Road, Latham, NY 12110.