Sister Maria Mercurio, CSJ (Sister Maria Francis), 96, died Dec. 20 at St. Joseph’s Provincial House in Latham, one day short of her 97th birthday. She had been a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for the past 73 years.

Sister Maria, baptized Clementine Gloria Mercurio, was born in Amsterdam on Dec. 21, 1923, daughter of the late Frank and Jennie DeStefano Mercurio. After graduating from Wilbur H. Lynch Sr. High School, she worked as a stenographer for L.M. Fowler Insurance Company in Schenectady and Metropolitan Life Insurance Company in Amsterdam. On Aug. 15, 1947, Sister Maria entered the novitiate of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Troy and professed final vows on Aug. 15, 1952.

Sister Maria received a bachelor’s degree in English from The College of Saint Rose and a master’s degree in religious education from LaSalle College in Philadelphia. Sister Maria began her ministry as a teacher in schools of the Albany and Syracuse Dioceses. In 1970, she began her “second career” in religious education and worked in that field until her retirement in 2010. For 40 years, she served at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, initially as a CYO staff member and as a religious-education teacher for adults, and later as director of religious education for the parish.

Sister Maria is survived by her sister, Jeanne Donlon; her nieces, Karen Hastings and Marie Jankowski; her nephews, Tom, Dave, Mike and Jim Hastings; several grandnephews and grandnieces; many friends; and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, with special mention of the sisters who lived with Sister Maria for many years at the former Cathedral Convent. In addition to her parents, Sister Maria was predeceased by her sister, Marie Hastings, and her lifelong friend, Sister Rose Margaret Noonan, CSJ.

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