Sister Magaret Flaherty, CSC

(February 8, 1925 - January 9, 2013)

Word has been received of the death of Sister Margaret Flaherty, who died at 9:30 a.m. on Wednesday, January 9, 2013, in Saint Mary’s Convent, Notre Dame, Indiana.
Sister Margaret was a person of many talents which she humbly acknowledged and generously shared.  She readily embraced the various responsibilities assigned to her by the congregation and fulfilled them with dedication and zeal.
An intense and righteous person, Sister Margaret never allowed herself halfway measures in any of her endeavors.  She had the same goal for her students or those with whom she worked, though kindness frequently modified her level of expectation of others.  She was tireless in striving to support anyone who was willing to work toward excellence, an aim she strived for daily.  Many young sisters who starting out in teaching benefited from this support through her mentoring and guidance.
Sister Margaret was a perpetual student in that she was always eager to learn.  Besides her formal degrees she enrolled in many workshops and institutes of higher learning to improve her skills in teaching, counseling and her own spiritual growth.  In 1977 she was delighted to have a sabbatical which gave her the opportunity to attend the CREDO program at Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington.
Because she was a natural leader, Sister Margaret was often given the responsibility of administrative roles.  As principal, department head, dean, administrative assistant or chair of numerous committees, she always accomplished the tasks assigned.
After 38 years in the field of teaching, both in elementary and high schools of the West, her focus changed in 1984 when she was sent to Saint Agnes Hospital in Fresno, California.  Ministering to the patients there she tapped into her deep well of compassion and empathy, virtues she learned as the middle child of seven siblings.  Sister Margaret gave her whole heart to the role of chaplain, and for 18 years she immersed herself in serving the terminally ill and providing spiritual and emotional support to them and their families.  As coordinator of the Hospice program at the hospital, she gave presentations on loss and grief and often extended herself to conduct funeral services at the request of patients or their families.
Sister Margaret had three loves in her life: her God, her family and her community.  She was so proud of her brothers and sisters, and loved to brag about their skills and accomplishments.  Because her vacations with them were filled with fun and sharing, she eagerly anticipated each visit.  However, nothing matched the boundless gratitude she felt for her 60 years of community life and the many opportunities she had for spiritual growth, which fed her hunger for an ever increasing close relationship with God.
Serious pursuits were not the only interests of this highly intelligent and dedicated religious woman; she loved a good time and had a marvelous but subtle sense of humor.  One of the elusive aspects of Sister Margaret’s personality was her ability to love deeply and generously.  Being her friend meant she would be with you through thick and thin, always encouraging with a positive attitude.  This was the gift she gave to those privileged to call her friend.  Her full life is now complete and she rests in peace.
Funeral arrangements for Sister Margaret Flaherty are as follows:  Reception of the body and wake on Tuesday, January 15, 2013, at 10:30 a.m. with the Mass of Resurrection the same day at 1:30 p.m.  All of these ceremonies will take place in the Church of Our Lady of Loretto.
May Sister Margaret rest in peace.


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