Sister Janet Marie Cavanaugh, CSJ
Sister Janet Marie Cavanaugh, CSJ, (Sister Miriam George), 68, died Monday, October 10, 2011, at St. Joseph’s Provincial House, Latham, NY. Sister Janet had been a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for the past 50 years.
Sister Janet was born on November 2, 1942 in Schenectady, NY, daughter of the late George and Miriam Marx Cavanaugh. After graduating from North Syracuse Central High School, Sister Janet entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph on March 20, 1961, and professed final vows on August 6, 1968. She received a bachelor’s degree in business education from The College of Saint Rose and a master’s degree in business from the University at Albany (SUNY). Sister Janet began her ministry in religious life as a business teacher at Cardinal McCloskey High School in Albany. She then served for ten years as registrar and dean of administration at The College of Saint Rose. In addition, Sister Janet was program director of the Urban Ministry Board at St. John the Evangelist Parish in Syracuse and served the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet as a general councilor in St. Louis from 1978 to 1982. In 1985, Sister Janet began a nearly 20-year ministry in Peru as pastoral associate in parishes in Lima, Arequipa and Casma, and as director of novices and director of formation for the Sisters of St. Joseph in Lima. She was touched deeply by the faith, generosity and simplicity of the people of Peru. When illness called Sister Janet to return to the Provincial House in 2005, a part her heart remained forever with the people of Peru.
Sister Janet was a woman of keen intelligence, gentle heart and rare vision. Her sound judgment and practicality were balanced her gentle nature and incisive wit. Her leadership skills were marked by sincere respect and concern for the individual person and an ability to encourage people to be their best. Sister Janet met her long and final illness with courage and grace; she was an inspiring woman of service in her living and a profound teacher of life in her dying. A devoted family member, a faithful friend and a treasured Sister of St. Joseph, Sister Janet will be dearly missed.
Sister Janet is survived by four beloved sisters: Pat (Harry) Sloate of Falmouth, MA; Kathleen Cavanaugh of North Syracuse, NY; Mary (Charles) Shipley of Redwood, NY; and Eileen (James) Farrell of Jupiter, FL; by her nieces and nephews and their families; by several cousins, including Sister Dolores Stevens, CSJ; and by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet in the United States and in Peru, with special mention of her dear friend, Sister Anne Bryan Smollin, CSJ. In addition to her parents, Sister Janet was predeceased by many friends in the Sisters of St. Joseph.
Sister Janet’s funeral Liturgy was celebrated on Monday, October 17, 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 Janet’s memory may be made to the Mission Office of the Sisters of St. Joseph for the ministries of the Sisters in Peru. (Mission Office, Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, 2311 South Lindbergh Blvd., St. Louis, MO 63131.)