Sister Marie Jeremie Crowley died peacefully on April 21, 2012, at Maryknoll Sisters Residential Care IV. She was 95 years old and had served with for over 73 years.
Born on May 20, 1916, in Portsmouth, NH, to Jeremiah J. and Mary Meehan Crowley, Mary Catherine was raised in Immaculate Conception Parish, Portsmouth. Her parents and only sibling, Rita J. Crowley, predeceased her.
A graduate of St. Patrick’s School, Portsmouth, and Portsmouth High School (Class of 1933), Mary Catherine “Kay” Crowley worked as a telephone operator at New England Telephone and Telegraph Company, Portsmouth, for over four years before entering Maryknoll on June 30, 1938. She received the religious name of Sister Marie Jeremie at her Reception into the community, made her First Profession of Vows on January 6, 1941, and her Final Vows on January 6, 1944, at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Ossining, NY.
Known more simply to her Maryknoll Sisters as “Jeremie”, the young nun spent her formation years assisting in the offices of Maryknoll Magazine (then still called The Field Afar), the publication which drew her to enter Maryknoll Sisters in the first place. Her initial foreign assignment was to Riberalta, Bolivia, in 1943. There, as one of the first Maryknoll Sisters to be assigned to Bolivia, she served as a lab worker at Riberalta Hospital from 1943-1951. (She had obtained skills for that work at Grasslands Hospital, now Westchester Medical Center, Valhalla, NY, just prior to departing for the field.) During that same period, she also worked as secretary to Maryknoll Bishop Alonso Escalante, and housekeeper for the local Maryknoll Sisters convent.
In 1951, Sister Marie Jeremie became superior of the Maryknoll Sisters serving in Cobija, Bolivia, and principal of the village mission school, positions she held from 1951-1958. Following her work in Cobija, she became superior of the Sisters living in Montero, Bolivia, and principal of its mission school, from 1958-1959. She was appointed superior for the Maryknoll Sisters in Riberalta and principal of Riberalta School in 1959, holding both positions until 1962. She then became religious education coordinator of public schools in Azangaro, Bolivia, a position she held from 1962-1968, followed by four years teaching catechetics and general education in Cochabamba, Bolivia, from 1968-1972.
Sister Marie Jeremie returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Ossining, NY, in 1972, where she worked as a secretary in its Physical Plant Department until 1974. In 1974, she was assigned to Arequipa, Peru, where she served as religious education coordinator for 10 primary public schools, while also teaching catechetics and doing pastoral work from 1974-1978. She was then relocated to Chile where she served as the Sisters’ Center House administrator in Santiago from 1979-80, followed by four years as a secretary for LADOC (Latin America Documentation, a bi-monthly publication of formal statements by Latin American bishops and activist organizations, published by the Maryknoll Society) in Lima, Peru. She then became administrator of the Sisters’ Center House in Lima, a position she held from 1985-87, followed by two years as secretary to the Treasurer at Maryknoll Sisters Center in Ossining from 1987-89.
Returning to Bolivia in 1989, Sister Marie Jeremie served as administrator for the Center House in Cochambamba, retiring to the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Ossining in 1993. She was assigned to the Maryknoll Sisters Residential Care Unit in 2007.
A wake and vespers service will be held for Sister Marie Jeremie on Wednesday, April 25, 2012, at 4:15 p.m., followed by a Liturgy of Christian Burial on Thursday, April 26, 2012, both to be held in the Annunciation Chapel at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Ossining. Interment will be at the Maryknoll Sisters Cemetery on the Center grounds. Funeral arrangements were entrusted to Dorsey Funeral Home, Inc. in Ossining.
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