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
Thank you, dear Sr. Margaret, for sharing your story of a beautiful life dedicated to educating and enriching the lives of so many students and adults. I only wish our lives had crossed before today, but now it has! And I am blessed by it! It must have been a grand experience to have been at Sr. Joan Chittester’s Monastery for renewal.
I, too, believe the spirit is always ahead of us, calling us forward. I lost my dear husband of 60 years this past year. You would have loved him and he would have loved you!
Thanks Sister for all of you kind support of me upon my arrival to SAC .. continue to do well..
Hello Sister James, did you happen to teach 7th grade at St. Peter’s in Yonkers late in the ‘50’s? Been trying to reach out to my 7th grade teacher for a long time!
Thank you for being a willing vessel for Jesus. There are countless times I read your devotionals and I know it’s God speaking to my heart through you. God is good and so are ministry sabbaticals, I’m with you on the sabbatical part. I am on one too, it was much needed. It’s important to recognize when it’s time to take time for refreshing. I will be praying for you my sister, God restore and renew you in all areas of your life. God bless you.
Thank you Sister Margaret…so glad for this post…me and another graduate was just reminiscing over you last week about our days at SAC Nassau in 80’s…thank you so much for helping me get thru my exams to graduate being pregnant at 16…you took time to care and visit me at home…my son is 33 now and by God’s Grace I turned out very well…thank you again
Thank you sister teaching and guiding my daughter Claudia at St Augustine class 1985 and making sure she attended Barry University and be blessed.
Thank you Sister Margaret for your dedication to service and the word of The Lord. You have touched so many lives and many are appreciative especially us here in the Bahamas.
Thank you so much Sr. Margaret. For the roll you played in my life and in directing me to the correct institution. Be blessed always.
Sister Peggy- I knew you in the mid-60’s as a wonderful teacher and person at Trinity High School. (Sister Marita James).
You have done so much good during your ministry. Whether teaching or administrating you showed humanity and compassion, always. It was a joy seeing you at the reunion. May God keep you healthy and safe. May you be happy.
Sister Margaret, Thank you for everything you did for me. You are forever in our hearts in Nassau.
Sister Margaret, you were a huge part of my high school life. Thank you for pushing me and ensuring that I went to that wonderful little Catholic school in Paxton, Massachusetts. Along with the foundation you helped to lay at St. Augustine’s College, those four years of a liberal arts education helped to guide me to my purpose. May God continue to bless you.
Thank you Sister Margaret for your work and dedication at SAC. You and the other sisters and the Benedictine monks left a great impression on me. God bless you!
Sister James was my first grade teacher in St. Anthony’s school in the Bronx. What a delight she was! She was soft spoken, had an infectious smile and extremely caring. Sister James even came to visit me in the hospital and to a first grader that was truly special. Thank you for being there for God’s children, you are truly one of His Angels
Thank you for sharing your lovely memory!
Sister Margaret, aka Peggy, just like your mom. My parents, Jim and Louise, always enjoyed spending time with your parents and hearing about you and your brother. They were also members at Leewood and played golf together.. Reading about you (thanks to Doubt) brought happy memories of Peggy and Jim at our home for dinners. They were lovely people as surely you know and have followed in their footsteps. All the best and peace and love.