Sister Rosita Joseph Finnerty, CSJ, 88, died Dec. 15, 2014, at St. Joseph’s Provincial House, Latham. She had been a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for the past 70 years.
The former Mary Margaret Finnerty, Sister Rosita was born on April 10, 1926 in Utica, N.Y., the oldest daughter of the late Joseph and Rose Murray Finnerty. Raised in Irish Ridge, Durhamville and Rome, N.Y., she graduated from St. Aloysius Academy.
Sister Rosita entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph on March 19, 1945 and professed final vows on Aug. 15, 1950. She received a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from The College of Saint Rose and pursued further studies in theology and pastoral care. For 31 years, Sister Rosita taught in schools in the Albany and Syracuse Dioceses, including the following schools: St. Mary’s Academy, Glens Falls; St. Francis de Sales School, Utica; St. Mary’s School, Oswego; St. Agnes School, Utica; St. John the Evangelist School, Syracuse; St. Francis de Sales School, Herkimer; St. Patrick’s School, Syracuse; St. James School, Albany; and St. Peter’s School, Rome. In 1978, Sister Rosita began a second career in pastoral ministry and served at Blessed Sacrament Parish, Utica; St. Paul’s Parish, Norwich; St. Paul’s Parish, Whitesboro; and Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Utica. In 2004, Sister Rosita retired to St. Joseph’s Provincial House.
Always a woman of clarity and purpose, Sister Rosita was known as a no-nonsense, get-it-done-now person. She was an able and effective teacher, but truly blossomed when she was able to shift her focus to pastoral ministry. A compassionate and caring minister, Sister Rosita had a special gift for visiting the sick, elderly and dying and for providing spiritual support to parishioners. In addition, she was a tireless advocate for the homebound and for those in hospitals and nursing homes. Sister Rosita’s ultimate legacy is her generous and determined spirit, her commitment to service and her love of faith, family and the Sisters of St. Joseph.
Sister Rosita is survived by several cousins and their families, with special mention of Alice Madden, Terry and Lynn Madden, Kathy and Wayne Arsenault, Mary Ellen Gallagher, Betty Finnerty, Helen Robinson, Joyce Seubert, Norine Woost; Rev. Vincent Finnerty, CM; Carol and Chuck Rose; Rev. John Rose; Debbie Stevens; and the Brennan family; many dear friends, including Rev. Donald Karlen; Diane Saladino and Darleen Riggles; and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet. In addition to her parents, Sister Rosita was predeceased by her sisters, Sister Rose Finnerty, CSJ, and Sister Theresa Marie Finnerty, CSJ; and many friends in the Sisters of St. Joseph.
A funeral was held Dec. 19 at the chapel of St. Joseph’s Provincial House, Latham. Interment will be held at a later time at Our Lady Queen of Virgins Cemetery on the Provincial House grounds.
Contributions in Sister Rosita’s memory may be made to the Development Office of the Sisters of St. Joseph, 385 Watervliet-Shaker Road, Latham, N.Y. 12110.