Sister Maureen Denn (Sister Mary Edward), CSJ, is celebrating 60 years as a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet. Raised in Utica, a member of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish and a graduate of St. Francis de Sales High School, she entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph on March 19, 1957. Sister Maureen received a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from The College of Saint Rose and a master’s degree in Spanish from Case Western Reserve University.
Sister Maureen began her ministry in the field of education and taught religion and Spanish in schools of the Syracuse and Albany Dioceses, including, in the Syracuse Diocese, St. Lucy’s High School, Syracuse, and St. Francis de Sales High School, Utica. In addition, she was in parish and catechetical ministry at St. Bartholomew’s Parish in Norwich, Our Lady of Angels Parish in Endwell, and St. Agnes Parish in Utica. For nearly 30 years, Sister Maureen was chaplain at Faxton-St. Luke’s Healthcare, Utica. Presently, she is a funeral-ministries assistant at Nunn & McGrath Funeral Directors, Utica.
Sister Maureen reflects on the influences on her life as a Sister of St. Joseph: “My call to consecrated life was strongly influenced by my parents and the location of our family home. We lived proximate to Our Lady of Lourdes Church, School, Convent and Rectory in South Utica. The priests and Daughters of Charity were our beloved neighbors, there for us in good times as well as sad. As a youngster and teenager, I was deeply impressed by their dedication to God and joy in ministry. This same attraction continued as I was educated in high school by the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph. Throughout these many years, I have been consistently sustained by God’s generous grace, my religious family, my family of birth, friends, colleagues and those whom I have been privileged to meet in ministry.
“The journey of these past 60 years has been a cornucopia of joy, stimulating, and growth-effecting challenges and a constant eye opener of the presence of the Spirit of our loving God. We sisters responded to the mandate of the Second Vatican Council and prepared ourselves to attend to the needs of our “dear neighbor” by diversifying our ministries. We strive to live in authentic communion with ALL of creation.
“For any woman who is questioning a call to consecrated life, I highly recommend frequent communication with a skilled spiritual director who will help you discern if you are, in fact, being called to serve God and others in this particular vocation. It is also important to schedule quiet and alone time in your day in order to be attentive to the voice of God and how the divine presence is manifest in your life.”
Sister M. dePaul Juliano, OSF, is celebrating 60 years as a Sister of St. Francis. A graduate of St. Francis de Sales High School in Utica, Sister dePaul entered the Franciscans in 1956. “I wanted to serve God; I wanted to do something special,” she recalled, and she had a wonderful influence in her aunt, who was a Franciscan sister.
Sister dePaul ministered in education for many years. She served at St. Joseph Elementary in Camden, N.J.; St. Francis Elementary in Trenton, N.J.; Our Lady of Angels Elementary in Albany; Assumption High School in Syracuse; St. Anthony High School in Long Beach, Calif., as vice principal, science department chair, and teacher; Bishop Cunningham High School in Oswego as vice principal and principal; Rome Catholic in Rome as principal and area superintendent for the diocese; and St. Augustine Regional School in Ocean City, N.J. as principal.
Since 2008, Sister dePaul has been a pastoral associate at St. Mary’s and St. Peter’s Churches in Rome, visiting parishioners in nursing homes and hospitals and at home, and assisting in the parish as needed. Sister loved her years of teaching and administration and had wonderful staff no matter where she went, she said. “I still have a heart for the young people,” she added, “but I love what I’m doing with the elderly.”
Sister dePaul is a 2016 graduate of the diocese’s Formation for Ministry program, a past regional associate for the National Catholic Educational Association, and certified by the National Youth Sports Coaches Association. She loves travel, music, reading, and sports.
“It feels wonderful looking back” on her years of ministry, she said. “It was the grace of God that got me through everything.”
Her advice for young people discerning a call? “If they want to do something special for God, they should look into religious life.”