Sister Mary Damien Cushing, CSJ, 81, the former Mary Ann Cushing, died Friday, July 10, 2020, at St. Joseph’s Provincial House, Latham.

Sister Mary Damien was born in Troy, N.Y., on May 6, 1939, daughter of the late Harry J. and Margaret Lewis Cushing. After graduating from Catholic Central High School, Troy, she entered the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Watervliet, N.Y., on July 2, 1957 and professed perpetual vows on March 25, 1960. On August 9, 1976, Sister Mary Damien canonically transferred her perpetual vows to the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet.

Sister Mary Damien received a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in education, both from The College of Saint Rose. For nearly 40 years, she served as teacher and principal in elementary and secondary schools of the Albany and Syracuse Dioceses. In the Syracuse Diocese, Sister Damien was principal of St. Patrick’s School in Oneida from 1993-2000.

In addition, Sister Damien was associate director of the Carondelet Music Center, Latham, for 5 years and administrative assistant at St. Bernard’s School of Theology and Ministry, Albany, for 12 years.

Sister Damien was a woman whose primary focus was on faith, family, community and service to God’s people. She spent her vibrant life sharing generously her many gifts, reaching children and adults alike with her joyful witness to God’s call and her contagious spirit of hope. To her family and community, Sister Damien brought her unwavering love, constant prayer, and deep gratitude. To the people whom life directed her way, she brought her warmth, sense of humor, kindness, honesty, and enthusiasm. To the tasks of her ministries, she brought her competence, organization, reliability and strong work ethic. To everything, Sister Damien gave her heart and soul, and it was a heart that reflected God’s goodness and a soul guided by faith in action. She will be dearly missed.

Sister Damien is survived by her beloved sisters: Kathleen Bayly, Marjorie Finn, Elizabeth Cushing, and Helen Shufon; her nieces and nephews and their families; many friends; and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. In addition to her parents, Sister Damien was predeceased by her brother, Harry J. Cushing, Jr.

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


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