Sister Rose Margaret Noonan, CSJ, 96, died Dec. 24, 2014 at St. Joseph’s Provincial House, Latham. She would have celebrated her 80th anniversary as a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet on March 19, 2015.
Sister Rose, the former Ruth Anne Noonan, was born on March 12, 1918 in Glens Falls, N.Y., daughter of the late William and Margaret Walsh Noonan. Raised in Troy, she graduated from St. Mary’s Grammar School and Catholic Central High School. Sister Rose entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Troy on March 19, 1935 and professed final vows on Aug. 15, 1940. She received both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in mathematics, both from The College of Saint Rose and pursued additional studies in theology and in the education of migratory children.
For 32 years, Sister Rose Margaret taught in schools of the Albany and Syracuse Dioceses including: Sacred Heart School and St. Patrick’s School, Utica; St. Peter’s School, Rome; St. Joseph’s School and Catholic Central High School, Troy; St. Mary’s Institute and Bishop Scully High School, Amsterdam; St. Mary’s School, Hoosick Falls; St. Mary’s Academy, Glens Falls; St. Anthony’s School, Syracuse; St. Mary’s School, Hoosick Falls; and St. Francis de Sales School, Herkimer. In addition, Sister Rose Margaret served on the staff of Catholic Charities in the Syracuse Diocese and was assistant provincial superior and interim provincial superior for the Sisters of St. Joseph. For the last 34 years of her active ministry, Sister Rose was a pastoral assistant in the Southern Tier: 16 years at St. Mary of the Assumption Parish, Binghamton, and 18 years at St. James Parish, Johnson City. In 2011, at age 93, Sister Rose retired to St. Joseph’s Provincial House.
Sister Rose Margaret was a gifted teacher of mathematics who prepared and motivated her students and who considered herself to be a facilitator of learning, providing students with the knowledge and tools to solve problems. After three decades of teaching math and in the midst of the promulgation of the documents of Vatican II, Sister Rose Margaret became a pioneer in the post-conciliar renewal of the Sisters of St. Joseph. As called by Council documents, she was a leader in recapturing the original spirit of the congregation: to serve where there is the greatest need. In her roles in Catholic Charities, in community leadership and in parish ministry, Sister Rose exemplified working for justice through social change in society and in the Church and was an ardent advocate for ecumenism, peace, justice and women’s rights. Sister Rose Margaret was a Gospel-inspired woman of deep faith and a faithful friend. She will be remembered for her vision, her courage, her passion for mission and her wholehearted commitment to transformation within individuals, the congregation, the Church and the world.
Sister Rose Margaret is survived by many beloved friends and their families, with special mention of Rev. Thomas Ryan of Fayetteville; Msgr. John McGraw of DewWitt; Bishop Thomas Costello of Syracuse; Joanne O’Brien of Victor; Jeffrey and Colleen O’Brien Salsburg of Victor; John and Maureen Kelly of Binghamton; and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. In addition to her parents, Sister Rose was predeceased by two sisters: Sister Christine Noonan, RSM, and Sister Gladys Mary Noonan, CSJ; and many dear friends in the Sisters of St. Joseph.
Sister Rose Margaret’s funeral was held on Dec. 30 at the chapel of St. Joseph’s Provincial House. Interment was held at Our Lady Queen of Virgins Cemetery on the Provincial House grounds.
Contributions in Sister Rose Margaret’s memory may be made to the Development Office of the Sisters of St. Joseph, 385 Watervliet-Shaker Road, Latham, N.Y. 12110.