In Memoriam: Sister Josephine Cusimano, D.C.
A Mass of Christian Burial for Sister Josephine Cusimano, D.C., was celebrated March 20 at St. Rita Catholic Church, New Orleans, La. Burial followed at St. Vincent Cemetery Number One, in New Orleans. Sister Josephine died March 15, 2017, at Ochsner Baptist Medical Center while on mission at Chateau de Notre Dame, New Orleans. Sister was 98 years of age and 82 years vocation.
Born in New Orleans on May 22, 1918, Sister Josephine was the second child born to Joseph and Stella (Amato) Cusimano. A member of St. Augustine Parish in New Orleans, Sister Josephine joined the Community of Daughters of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul in St. Louis, Mo., in November 1934.
Sister Josephine completed her High School Diploma at St. Joseph High School, New Orleans, in 1934. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing Education Degree from DePaul University, Chicago, Ill., in 1945; and she earned her Master of Science Degree in Education from Immaculate Heart College in Los Angeles, Cal., in 1951.
Following initial formation, Sister Josephine served as Director of Nursing Service and Supervisor at Providence Hospital, Waco, Tex., (1939 to 1948); as Director of Nursing Service and School of Nursing at St. Vincent Medical Center, Los Angeles, (1948 to 1956); as Director of the School of Nursing at St. Mary’s Hospital, Milwaukee, Wis., (1956 to 1961); in Administration at Providence Hospital, Waco, (1961 to 1975; during this time, Sister Josephine also served as the Local Community Superior); and in Administration at St. Vincent Hospital, St. Louis, Mo., (1975 to 1978). Sister’s next missions were all in New Orleans: as Education Coordinator at Charity Hospital, (1978 to 1979); as Assistant Director of Nursing Services Education at Charity Hospital, (1979 to 1984); as Director of Nursing, Charity Hospital, (1984 to 1990; during this time, Sister Josephine also served as the Local Community Superior); as Associate Nursing Administrator at Charity Hospital, (1990 to 1991); as Administrator of the Redemptorist Apartments, (1991 to 1992); as Patient Liaison, Charity Hospital, (1992 to 1994); and as Patient Liaison at the Medical Center of Louisiana, Charity Campus, (1994 to 1998). In January 1998, Sister Josephine joined the Ministry of Prayer at the Calhoun Residence in New Orleans. She lived there briefly, then was missioned to continue her Ministry of Prayer at the Malta Square Residence, New Orleans (1998 to 2005). Following Hurricane Katrina, Sister next served in the Ministry of Prayer in Waco, Tex., (2005 to 2008). She returned to New Orleans in 2008 and served in the Ministry of Prayer at Chateau de Notre Dame until the time of her death.
Sister Josephine, a Registered Nurse, was a Fellow in the American College of Healthcare Executives (Hospital Administrators), a member of Boards of Directors of many hospitals including DePaul Health Center, Bridgeton, Mo., (1974 to 1979); Hotel Dieu, New Orleans, (1975 to 1977 and 1990); and Providence Hospital (Health Center), Waco, Tex., (1961 to 1974 and 1991 to 1994).
Sister Josephine was preceded in death by her parents; her brother, Michael; and two cousins who were Daughters of Charity, Sisters Gabrielle and Claire Mulé. She is survived by nieces and nephews including Maria Palmisano of Metairie, La., Vincent, Joseph, and Salvador Cusimano, and Donna Paternostra–all of New Orleans; many great nieces and nephews; and her Sisters in Community.