Sister Johanne McCarthy, CSJ (Sister Agnes Marina), 83, died Nov. 12, at Samaritan Hospital. She had been a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for 64 years.
Sister Johanne was born on Sept. 6, 1936, in Syracuse, daughter of the late Joseph and Alice Foreman McCarthy. After graduating from St. Anthony’s High School, Syracuse, Sister Johanne entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Troy on March 19, 1955; she professed final vows on Aug. 6, 1962. She received a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in elementary education, both from The College of Saint Rose.
For 35 years, Sister Johanne served as teacher, principal, and business manager in schools of the Albany and Syracuse dioceses. She also worked for several years in parishes in both dioceses as pastoral associate and parish life director. In the Syracuse Diocese, Sister Johanne taught at St. John’s School, Oswego, was principal at St. Patrick’s School, Oneida, and was a pastoral associate at St. Mary’s Parish, Clinton. In addition, Sister Johanne was administrator of St. Joseph’s Provincial House, Latham.
Sister Johanne was a strong woman of faith and action, with a tender heart for God’s people, a strong love of family and friends, and a conviction that life is a gift, meant to be lived with purpose, meaning, and passion. Whether teaching a young person, conducting a faculty meeting, administering a parish, or enjoying loved ones, Sister Johanne had a special talent for spreading hope, kindness, compassion, and warmth.
She faced difficult times with tenacity, grace, and spunk, and she celebrated joyful moments with exuberance and delight. When she envisioned changes in society, community, and Church, she was always willing to engage in dialogue and discernment. In all her endeavors, Sister Johanne embodied the call of the Sisters of St. Joseph to bring unity, reconciliation, and peace to God’s people, and the world is a better and happier place because she was here.
Sister Johanne is survived by her beloved sisters: Agnes (Joe) Smithling, Martha (Paul) Valenti and Maureen (Bob) Pesek; by several nieces and nephews and their families, with special mention of her nephew Mark Pesek and her grandniece Jennifer (Dominick) Rizzo and their children, Joseph, Alexander, and Lucas, whose frequent visits brought Sister Johanne great joy; by her dear friends, Sister Joan Killoran and Mary Jo Coleman; and by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet.
Sister Johanne’s Mass of Christian Burial was held in the chapel of the Provincial House on Nov. 19. Donations in Sister Johanne’s memory may be made to the Development Office, Sisters of St. Joseph, 385 Watervliet Shaker Road, Latham, N.Y., 12110.