Sister Margaret John Kelly (Rose Marie), age 88, died at Villa St. Michael in Emmitsburg, Maryland on November 24, 2022. She was born June 13, 1934, in Strafford, Pennsylvania to Margaret Mary (Walsh) and John Joseph Kelly. Before entering the Community, Sister Margaret John was a member of St. Katharine of Siena Parish in Wayne, Pennsylvania. She graduated from Villa Maria Academy in Green Tree, Pennsylvania in 1952. Following high school graduation, she attended St. Joseph College in Emmitsburg, Maryland where she earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in English in 1956. In April 1957, she entered the Daughters of Charity in Emmitsburg.
Following initial formation, Sister Margaret John taught at St. Christine School in Youngstown, Ohio (1958-1961). She then taught at Elizabeth Seton High School in Bladensburg, Maryland (1961-1964). From 1964-1967, Sister Margaret John lived at DePaul House of Studies and studied at St. John’s University in Jamaica, New York where she earned a Master of Arts Degree in English in 1964 and a Doctor of Philosophy Degree in English in 1967. Following this, she served as a Professor at St. Joseph College, Emmitsburg (1967-1973) and as President at Catherine Labouré Junior College in Boston, Massachusetts (1973-1980). She then served as Vice President of Mission Services at the Catholic Health Association Office in St. Louis (1980-1984). She served the Sisters of the Northeast Province in Albany, New York as Councillor (1984-1987) and as Visitatrix (1987-1993). After completing her term in Provincial leadership, Sister Margaret John was missioned to Bayside, NY and assigned to ministry at St. John’s University. There, she was the founder and Executive Director of the Vincentian Center for Church and Society at St. John’s University for many years (1993-2015). She helped to establish the Ladies of Charity at St. John’s University in 2009. In every role as educator, she promoted education as the key to alleviating poverty. Throughout her life as a Daughter of Charity, Sister Margaret John served as a Board of Director for many health, social and educational institutions. She received many awards with one of her most cherished ones coming from the Ladies of Charity at St. John’s University who share on their website, “Sister Margaret John encouraged the creation of a Ladies of Charity Association to engage the University’s leadership women and its alumnae in charitable works. She was the bridge between the University’s Administration and the Diocese of Brooklyn to create the formation of the Ladies of Charity at St. John’s University.” In 2015, she was missioned to Villa St. Michael in Emmitsburg, Maryland where she assisted in the Vincentian Translation Project and entered into the Ministry of Prayer, a ministry she retained until her death.
Sister Margaret John was preceded in death by her parents and siblings John Jr., Joseph, James, Thomas, Edward, Charles, Aloysius, Sr. Mary Kelly, IHM, Sr. Joan Dolores Kelly, IHM, and Marguerite Conway. She is survived by her brother-in-law William Conway, many nieces and nephews, friends, and her Sisters in Community.
A wake service was held on Friday, December 2, 2022, in the Villa Chapel in Emmitsburg, Maryland. The Mass of Christian Burial took place on Saturday, December 3, at the Basilica of the Shrine of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton with burial in St. Joseph Cemetery on the grounds.