Sisters of Charity Celebrate National Catholic Sisters Week
My name is Sister Margaret McEntee, but I’m called Peggy by family and friends. My religious name was Sister Marita James, which I requested in honor of my father and brother. I entered the Sisters of Charity of New York on Sept. 8, 1953, and spent most of my fifty-eight active years in the ministry of education.
I began my ministry in education at St. Anthony’s Elementary School, Bronx, teaching first grade, where I taught John Patrick Shanley, who remembered me and named me as a character in his play, later a movie called Doubt. I went on to teach in high schools in Shiremanstown PA, Cardinal Spellman, St. Raymond’s Academy, and St. Catherine’s Academy in the Bronx. From 1970 to 1975, I was appointed Formation Director, opening Davidson House in the Bronx for new members, while teaching part-time.
In 1975, I was sent on mission to St. Augustine’s College, Nassau, Bahamas. There I spent eleven happy years and had the opportunity to experience cultural diversity as a missionary and teacher/administrator with Benedictine priests and brothers.
When I returned to New York, I worked in the Admissions Office at the College of Mount Saint Vincent. I then followed Sr. Evelyn McLoughlin as Principal of St. Barnabas H.S. for eight years.
After my time at St. Barnabas, I had a one-year sabbatical, which included one hundred days at Sangre de Cristo Retreat Center, some quiet time at Mercy Center in Madison, CT, and a Lenten hermitage out in the woods at Sr. Joan Chittester’s Monastery in Erie, PA. My spiritual life was enriched and challenged during this time, and my biblical and liturgical studies at Catholic University were given time to develop.
After the sabbatical, I applied to Notre Dame H.S. in Manhattan where I was given a wonderful opportunity to teach religion and be campus minister for eighteen delightful years. I retired on June 30, 2015.
My dream for the future of the Mission of Charity is to see ourselves continuing to live out the call of vocation as it emerges in new ways through loving relationships and contemplation. I do believe that education is always part of our ministries—learning, seeking, searching—regardless how it evolves. The spirit is always ahead of us, calling us forward.
As told to Lorraine Cooper, SC