Sister Joseph Marie Cumiskey, CSC

Sister Joseph Marie Cumiskey, CSC

(May 2, 1906 - October 19, 2011)

Word has been received of the death of Sister Joseph Marie Cumiskey, who died at 4:50 a.m. on Wednesday, October 19, 2011.

Sister Joseph Marie was a remarkable woman, by all standards, as a highly successful college professor, an organizer and a creative personality. She was what some would refer to as a “late vocation” because she began her life as a religious at the age of 47. However, she lived to be 105 and gave almost 60 years to that religious vocation.

Because Sister Joseph Marie entered at a mature age, her vocation was based on the personal conviction that even though she had reached independence and success in the world of academia, she was called to a more complete giving of her life to God in a religious congregation. She chose Holy Cross after reading a library book that described various religious communities, though she did not know any Holy Cross sisters at that time.

Sister Joseph Marie was very astute and had a twinkle in her eyes that hinted at her depth of humor and inner joy. Her openness to all and her gracious way of dealing with others earned her high marks as a community woman where she attempted to bring her own joy to others. She brought these wonderful qualities to the various local communities to which she was assigned.

After teaching at the college and high school level for 25 years, she moved into administrative roles in various educational institutions in the East. In 1989 she moved to Saint Angela’s, Kensington, Maryland, where she continued to share her talent and joy with the sisters. Then, in September 2001, she transferred to Saint Mary’s, Notre Dame, Indiana, where her wit graced the lives of all. Even at Sister Joseph Marie’s advanced age of 105, her friend and aide on the fourth floor, Ruby Frison, characterized her as still “sharp as a tack” and well able to carry on a great conversation and even challenge the status quo.

Sister Joseph Marie’s daily mantra was “This is the day the Lord has made” and she enthusiastically lived this out in every aspect of her life and rejoiced in her service to the Lord. She now is rejoicing with the Lord she faithfully served for so many years. May Sister Joseph Marie rest in peace.


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