September 5, 2023 at 2:52 p.m.
Sister Marilyn Hayes, CSJ, 97
Sister Marilyn Hayes (Sister Thomas Edward), CSJ, 97, died at St. Joseph’s Provincial House in Latham on Aug. 21. A native of Utica, Sister Marilyn was born on Aug. 18, 1926, the daughter of Frank R. and Irene Cooney Hayes. After graduation from Saint Francis de Sales High School, Sister Marilyn entered the Sisters of St. Joseph in Troy. She professed final vows in August 1950.
Sister Marilyn completed a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in history at The College of Saint Rose in Albany. Her early days of ministry were spent teaching in the junior high classes of schools in the Syracuse and Albany dioceses. She also served as superior and administrator at St. Mary’s Institute in Amsterdam. Sister Marilyn pursued continuing education in religion and other subjects
In 1977, Sister Marilyn began nine years of ministry as administrator of St. Joseph’s Provincial House in Latham. Her calm and gracious manner served her well in the management of the large, complex institution. After completing her service at the Provincial House, Sister Marilyn moved to Little Falls, where she functioned as a parish minister. This was during a time of consolidation of parishes when her understanding of parishioners’ concerns called forth her gifts of calm and compassion. As the merger of the three Little Falls’ parishes continued, Sister Marilyn reflected that initially the struggles focused on losing churches and separate identities, but gradually there developed a sense of a new community.
Sister Marilyn served the total community of Little Falls, collaborating with other churches and civic organizations in projects designed to meet the needs of families. In 2004, she was honored as a Woman of Distinction. Among the words of tribute, one writer noted: “... there is no person who has touched the lives of so many people in so many ways as this dedicated sister.” In 2012, Sister Marilyn retired at the Provincial House.
Sister Marilyn was predeceased by her parents, Frank and Irene, and by her sister and brother-in-law, Patricia and William Wood. Her memory will be cherished by her attentive nieces and nephews, the Sisters of Saint Joseph, especially the 3A community, and by all those who cared for her.
Her Funeral Mass was celebrated in the Provincial House Chapel on Aug. 26. Contributions in Sister Marilyn’s memory may be made to: Office of Mission Development, St. Joseph’s Provincial House, 385 Watervliet-Shaker Road, Latham, N.Y., 12110