Sister Martha Marie McCaffrey, CSJ
Sister Martha Marie McCaffrey, CSJ
Sister Martha Marie McCaffrey, CSJ, 92, died Oct. 31 at St. Joseph’s Provincial House in Latham. She had been a Sister of St. Joseph for 75 years.

Sister Martha Marie, christened Madeline Mary, was born in 1929 in Brandon to Mildred Duell and Ray Joseph McCaffrey. In 1939, the family moved to Hazel Park, Mich., where Sister Martha Marie attended grammar school. The family then moved to Syracuse where she graduated from St. Patrick’s School.

Having met the Sisters of St. Joseph at St. Patrick’s, Sister Martha Marie was drawn to enter religious life, making her first profession in 1949 and final profession three years later.

Sister Martha Marie’s life of ministry was rich and varied. She served in schools in the Albany and Syracuse dioceses, developing a special gift for teaching literature. Sister Martha Marie was well prepared for her ministry, having completed her bachelor of arts at The College of Saint Rose.

In 1966, Sister Martha Marie was missioned to Hawaii where she shared her love of literature in schools in Honolulu, Waipahu and Kailua. She also continued her education, earning her master’s degree at the University of Hawaii.

Back in New York State, Sister Martha Marie again gave herself tirelessly in several schools, particularly Sacred Heart School in Troy, where she also served as library coordinator. In 1997, she received the Elizabeth Seton Distinguished Teacher Award in recognition of her 48 years in education.
In 2003, Sister Martha Marie moved to St. Joseph’s Provincial House. An accomplished seamstress, she enjoyed working in the sewing room. Sister Martha Marie was among the first volunteers to make hundreds of masks when the COVID pandemic swept the country. The masks were sent to a variety of destinations where the need was particularly great.

In addition to her parents, Sister Martha Marie was predeceased by brothers, Francis James, Donald, Charles, and a sister, Lorraine Gonia. She is survived by brothers, Francis and Ray, as well as two special nieces, Anne Gonia and Donna Maness, and numerous other relatives.

Due to continued COVID health concern, there will be no public visitation or funeral services. Contributions in Sister Martha Marie’s memory may be made to The Office of Mission Advancement, St Joseph’s Provincial House, 385 Watervliet-Shaker Road, Latham, N.Y., 12110.