Sister Mary Theresa Murphy, CSJ
Sister Mary Theresa Murphy, CSJ, 93, died very peacefully in the early morning of January 20 at St. Joseph’s Provincial House, Latham. She was born in East Springfield, New York and graduated from Springfield Central High School. Upon graduation, Sister Mary Theresa began studies at St. Mary’s Hospital School of Nursing in Amsterdam and graduated in 1943. After graduation, she nursed at St. Mary’s and also at Little Falls Hospital.
On March 19, 1945, Sister Mary Theresa entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Troy, New York. Following her profession of vows in March, 1947, Sister Mary Theresa began a lifetime of ministry in health care as a Sister of St. Joseph. She served as an instructor in the at St. Mary’s Hospital School of Nursing and as director of nursing service. After completing studies at St. Louis University for a master’s degree in healthcare administration, Sister Mary Theresa returned to St. Mary’s Hospital.
Sister Mary Theresa served in a variety of administrative positions at St. Mary’s. She was the assistant administrator until 1972 when she became the president and CEO, a post she held until 1980. During those years, Sister Mary Theresa guided the hospital through the many transitions which came with the changes in health care, including negotiations and fund-raising projects for the construction of the new hospital building and the development of additional services. She left St. Mary’s in 1980 but continued her healthcare ministry, serving on the Board for Professional Medical Conduct of the New York State Department of Health and on the Board of Trustees of St. Mary’s Hospital, Amsterdam.
Sister Mary Theresa brought her care and ministry to the Veterans Administration Hospital and the Counseling for the Laity Center in Albany. She served for many years as the office assistant in the Counseling for the Laity Center. Although officially retired, Sister Mary Theresa shared her compassionate and caring presence with the sisters residing at St. Joseph’s Provincial House. Always known as a kind and skilled care giver, she devoted those skills to caring for the members of her community.
Sister Mary Theresa was predeceased by her parents, Edward and Florence Gill Murphy, and four brothers, Edward, William, Leo and Joseph. She is survived by her sister, Ann Murphy, and many nieces and nephews, including Sister Margaret Jean Murphy, CSJ, of Peru.
Sister Mary Theresa’s funeral was in the Provincial House chapel on Tuesday, January 26. Donations may be made to the Development Office, Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, 385 Watervliet-Shaker Road, Latham, NY 12110.