Sisters of St. Joseph of CarondeletMay 23, 2017

In Remembrance

Sister Mary Lourdes Howe, CSJ


Sister Mary Lourdes Howe, CSJ, 74, the former Judith Ellen Howe, passed into eternal life on Tuesday, April 8, 2014, at St. Joseph’s Provincial House, Latham.

Sister Lourdes was born in Troy on February 16, 1940, daughter of the late Eben and Angelus Fitzsimmons Howe. She graduated from Catholic Central High School and The College of Saint Rose where she received a bachelor’s degree in science and a master’s degree in special education. Sister Lourdes entered the Sisters of the Presentation in Watervliet on September 7, 1963, and professed final vows on April 26, 1971. During her 14 years as a Presentation Sister, Sister Lourdes served in Sacred Heart School, Albany; Cobb Memorial School, Altamont; St. Mary’s School, Frankfort; and St. Helen’s School, Schenectady.

On August 25, 1979, after two years of preparation, Sister Lourdes transferred her vows to the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet in Latham. As a Sister of St. Joseph, she taught at St. Agnes-St. Marie’s School, Cohoes, and Catholic Central High School, Troy. In addition, Sister Lourdes was a house parent at W.A.I.T.T. House, Inc. in Schenectady and an advisor for the Marcella Residents at St. Joseph’s Provincial House.

Sister Lourdes was always reaching out to the less fortunate and those who needed special care. Blessed with a compassionate and kind nature, she worked tirelessly to alleviate the suffering of the poor and spent many mornings picking up day-old bread from area stores and delivering the bread to local food pantries. Sister Lourdes worked for several years at an area thrift shop where she ensured that individuals who needed furniture or other household items could get the items at a very affordable price. Her time in the teaching profession was marked by a real commitment to those students who struggled with their studies. Sister Lourdes’ degree in special education afforded her the skills she needed to help the children at both Cobb Memorial and the W.A.I.T.T. House, Inc. in Schenectady. Sister Lourdes' last ministry was overseeing the needs of the Marcella Community at St. Joseph’s Provincial House where she served with patience and thoughtful care.

Sister Lourdes was a woman of prayer with special devotion to the Blessed Mother. This devotion led her to travel with her dear cousin, Toni, to many shrines dedicated to Mary. Among her favorite trips with Toni were two pilgrimages to Medjugorje and a tour of Ireland. Sister Lourdes will be remembered for her kindness, her keen mind, her zest for life, her gentle and generous spirit and her love of animals. In the words of John’s Gospel, Sister Lourdes was a woman without guile.

Sister Lourdes is survived by her brother, Lloyd (Helen); her dear cousin, Toni (Muriel) Fitzsimmons; her nieces and nephews with special mention of her niece, Angel Sheehan; her lifelong friend, Andrea (Sissy) Maren; her sister-in-law, Jeanne; many cousins and friends; and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. In addition to her parents, Sister Lourdes was predeceased by her brothers, R. Paul and Byron; her half-brothers, Walter and Arthur; her half-sisters, Dorothy and Phyllis; her beloved Aunt Mary and cousin, Matt; and many friends in the Sisters of the Presentation and the Sisters of St. Joseph.

Sister Lourdes’ Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on Monday, April 14, 2014, at 10:30 a.m. 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 Lourdes’ memory may be made to the Development Office of the Sisters of St. Joseph, 385 Watervliet-Shaker Road, Latham, NY 12110.