Sister Mary Agnes Kehoe (Sister Helen Mary)
Sister Mary Agnes Kehoe, CSJ (Sister Helen Mary), 74, died Sunday, December 22, 2013, at St. Joseph's Provincial House, Latham, NY. She had been a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for the past 56 years.
Sister Mary Agnes was born on March 21, 1939, in Summerville, Massachusetts, daughter of the late John and Rosina Altschaeffl Kehoe. A graduate of St. John the Baptist Academy, Syracuse, she entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet in Troy, NY, on March 19, 1957, and professed final vows on August 6, 1964. Sister Mary Agnes received a bachelor's degree in social studies and a master's degree in history, both from The College of Saint Rose, and certification in clinical pastoral education at Loretto Geriatric Center, Syracuse. For 23 years, she taught in schools of the Albany and Syracuse Dioceses, including Catholic Central High School, Troy; St. Patrick's High School, Catskill; Cardinal McCloskey High School, Albany; and Rome Catholic High School. For 17 years, Sister Mary Agnes was parish minister to the sick and elderly at Blessed Sacrament Church in Syracuse, and for 5 years, she was pastoral associate at St. Francis de Sales/Christ Our Light Parish in Loudonville. In addition, Sister Mary Agnes served the Sisters of St. Joseph as assistant director of novices and director of vocations and was a secretary at St. James School, Albany, and St. Helen's School, Schenectady.
Sister Mary Agnes was a woman of hope who exuded energy and warmth. Gifted with a gracious manner, a positive spirit and a lively sense of humor, she was a caring teacher, a compassionate pastoral minister and a faithful friend. Sister Mary Agnes' deep faith enabled her to welcome ideas that stretched her mind and heart, and her vision and love of God were graces to all who knew her. As she met the joys and challenges of daily life, Sister Mary Agnes generously placed her many talents at the service of her family, her ministry and her religious community. An avid follower of politics, Sister Mary Agnes also was a lifelong Boston Red Sox fan and a loyal follower of Syracuse University basketball. Sister Mary Agnes was refreshed by visits to the ocean, retreats at Weston Priory, spending time with family and friends and participating in community events, and she gave herself wholeheartedly to each. Sister Mary Agnes was strong in the face of challenge and faced her final illnesses with courage, determination and dignity; her legacy will be a source of comfort and an inspiration to those who knew her.
Sister Mary Agnes is survived by her beloved family: two sisters, Elizabeth (Terry) Joggerst of Binghamton, NY, and Anne (the late William) Gaudet of Harwich, MA; two brothers, John (Barbara) Kehoe of Chelsea, MI, and Rev. Joseph Kehoe of Durhamville, NY; several nieces and nephews and their families; many dear friends; and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. In addition to her parents, Sister Mary Agnes was predeceased by her brother, Robert Kehoe; her brother-in-law, Bill Gaudet; and many friends in the Sisters of St. Joseph.
Sister Mary Agnes' funeral Liturgy was celebrated on Monday, December 30, 2013, at 10:30 a.m. in the chapel of St. Joseph's Provincial House, Latham. There wasa prayer service, celebrating Sister Mary Agnes’ life on Sunday evening at 7:00 p.m. in the chapel. In keeping with Sister Mary Agnes’ wishes, her interment took place on Tuesday, December 24, in Our Lady Queen of Virgins Cemetery on the Provincial House grounds. Contributions in Sister Mary Agnes' memory may be made to the Development Office of the Sisters of St. Joseph, 385 Watervliet-Shaker Road, Latham, NY 12110