Sister James Therese Downey, OSF, went home to God on Jan. 14, 2015 at the Franciscan Villa Region House.
She was born in Syracuse, N.Y., to Maurice and Jeanne (Dowling) Downey and was a Sister of St. Francis for 35 years.
Sister James Therese earned a bachelor’s degree in education from The College of St. Rose in Albany, a master’s degree in education from SUNY Oswego and a master’s degree in administration from Le Moyne College in Syracuse. Sister earned a certificate in spiritual formation from the Catholic Theological Union in Chicago.
Throughout her life, Sister James Therese was an outstanding role model of service to her community, family and friends. She taught at schools in Syracuse, Fulton, Oswego and East Syracuse, N.Y., as well as schools in Camden and Clayton, N.J. She served at Bishop Grimes Jr./Sr. High School for 18 years as a teacher, assistant principal and principal, leaving to become the formation minister for the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities.
Sister James Therese was known for her sense of humor, constant smile and joyfulness. She loved to spend time with her community of Sisters and her family, especially her nieces and nephews. Sister James Therese encouraged the students to whom she ministered and enjoyed her role in the training of women religious. She lived the virtues of what religious life is all about and she will live on in the hearts of many.
Sister James Therese is survived by five sisters, Patricia (Mike) Palladino, Grace (Brian) Davin, Mary (Clete) Gualtieri, Ann (Ken) Rakowski and Jeanne ( Jeff) Bradley; four brothers, Maurice Downey, John (Sandy) Downey, Joseph (Casey) Downey and Charles (Claire) Downey; several nieces and nephews; and the Sisters of St. Francis.
A Mass of Christian Burial was held Jan. 20 at Holy Family Church in Fairmount.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made to the Sisters of St. Francis of the Neumann Communities Mission Advancement Office, 6900 Buckley Rd., Syracuse, N.Y. 13212.