Sisters of St. Joseph of CarondeletApril 10, 2021

In Remembrance

Sister Germaine Hilston, CSJ (Sister Grace Albert)


Sister Germaine Hilston, CSJ (Sister Grace Albert), 86, died Sunday, December 20, 2020, at St. Peter’s Hospital, Albany, NY. She had been a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for the past 67 years.

Sister Germaine was born in Albany, NY, on February 27, 1934, daughter of the late Albert and Grace White Hilston. After graduating from Cathedral Academy, Albany, she entered novitiate the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet on August 15, 1953, and professed final vows on August 15, 1960.

Sister Germaine received a bachelor’s degree in French from The College of Saint Rose and a master’s degree in theology from St. Michael’s College, Winooski, VT. For 22 years, she taught elementary grades in schools of the Albany and Syracuse Dioceses. In 1977, Sister Germaine began her ministry in religious education and faith formation. She served as religious education coordinator in St. Joseph’s Parish, Troy; pastoral associate at St. Francis de Sales, Troy; director of faith formation at the Columbia County Faith Formation Center in Hudson; and director of religious education for the Northern Region of the Syracuse Diocese.

Sister Germaine was a Sister of St. Joseph to the core of her being, and demonstrated daily her deep conviction to the congregation’s call “to profound love of God and love of neighbor without distinction.” Grounded in mission with a willingness to trust in God’s plan, she lived a life of untiring and wholehearted commitment to her God, her congregation, her family and friends, and the people she served.

Sister Germaine was a gifted classroom teacher and religious educator, a compassionate pastoral associate and an effective administrator of faith formation on both the parish and diocesan levels. Her academic training in theology, her organizational ability, her communication and leadership skills, her ability to collaborate effectively with other offices, and her vision and oversight of successful programs enabled Sister Germaine to be a respected minister as well as a sought-after presenter on the local and state levels.

Sister Germaine was a faithful friend who seemed to know intuitively when a person needed her presence. She was kind, warm, generous, funny and sensitive. She enjoyed nothing more than joining friends for a movie and dinner or taking a day trip to see a new place or spending that special week at camp each summer. In conversations, she was a woman of deep spirituality — interesting, full of ideas, willing to risk, and sensitive to others.

Sister Germaine leaves us a legacy of deep commitment to service and wholehearted focus on mission, and we will miss her dearly.

Sister Germaine is survived by her brother Edmund Carl Hilston of Nashua, NH; several nieces and nephews and their families; many friends; and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, with special mention of her beloved friend, Sister Phyllis Mauger. In addition to her parents, Sister Germaine was predeceased by three brothers, John, Albert David and Paul Hilston; and by two sisters, Eileen Davis and Marie Brady.

Due to the continued health concerns regarding the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be no public funeral services for Sister Germaine at this time. A Memorial Mass will be scheduled at a later date.