Sister Constance’s motivation in ministry was to respond to where she heard cries for justice while her contemplative side delighted in observing color in nature and her surroundings.
Sister Constance Marie Kelly, formerly Sister Marian Bernard, was born November 2, 1937, in Staten Island, one of three children, one daughter and two sons of Bernard and Marion McCormack Kelly. Constance attended Saint Peter Elementary and Saint Peter High School, Staten Island, before entering the Sisters of Charity of New York on September 8, 1955. She earned a BA in Latin from the College of Mount Saint Vincent, an MA in Latin from Hunter College, and an MS in Pastoral Ministry from Fordham University.
Sister Constance’s fifty-two years of active service were in the areas of education and pastoral ministry. Her thirteen years of teaching were in the elementary grades of Saint Charles Borromeo in Brooklyn and Saint Margaret of Cortona in the Bronx and as a teacher of Latin at Saint Raymond Academy for Girls in the Bronx. In 1971, Sister Constance’s thirty-seven years in pastoral ministry began with missionary service in Santiago, Chile. After four years, she returned to the United States to work with Father John Flynn in Saint Francis of Assisi Church in the Bronx.
Sister Constance returned to missionary work in Guatemala for fourteen years in the Departments (States) of Sololá and San Marcos. On her return to New York, her pastoral ministry continued with the Hispanic community of Saint Peter of Alcantara Church in Port Washington. She saw the need to build bridges among the various Latino groups and between them and the non-Latino community. In recognition of her work, she was honored as a Woman of Distinction in Port Washington.
In 2010, Sister Constance retired from active ministry and lived at Our Lady of Mount Carmel in Manhattan, developing bonds with the long-time Italian parishioners and the recently arrived Hispanic community. In 2022, she became a resident of Cabrini of Westchester. She died on June 10, 2023 at Phelps Hospital in Sleepy Hollow, New York, in the sixty-eighth year of commitment as a Sister of Charity of New York.
Sister Constance, known best as Sister Connie, had an uncomplicated approach to life. She saw events working out in God’s own time and moved with the new direction in which they led. Her motivation in ministry was to respond to where she heard cries for justice while her contemplative side delighted in observing color in nature and her surroundings.
Sister Connie, the Congregation Constitution states, “We are called … to be women of healing, sensitive to the wounds of persons and to the systemic evils of our times.” You answered this call with selfless response to needs both near and far. May the work of your hands endure, and the gracious care of our God rest upon you.
Date of Death
June 10, 2023
Monday, June 19, 2023 8:00-9:00 a.m.
Prayer Service at 8:30 a.m.
Flynn Memorial Home 1652 Central Park Avenue Yonkers, NY 10710
Live Streaming begins at 8:30 a.m.: venue.streamspot.com/d286a8ab
Monday, June 19, 2023 9:45 a.m.
St. Margaret of Cortona Church
6000 Riverdale Avenue Bronx, NY 10471
Live Streaming begins at 9:45 a.m.: venue.streamspot.com/217aa3db
Mount Saint Vincent Cemetery Date to be determined.
Archdiocese of New York /Chile/Guatemala
- St. Charles Borromeo, Brooklyn, 1958-63, Teacher
- St. Margaret of Cortona, Bronx, 1963-66, Teacher
- St. Raymond Academy, Bronx, 1966-71, Teacher
- Santiago, Chile, 1971-75, Missionary Work
- St. Francis of Assisi, Bronx, 1976-81, Pastoral Minister
- El Novillero-Depto, Solola, Guatemala, 1981-86, Missionary Work
- San Cristobal Cucho Parish, San Marcos, Guatemala, 1986-95, Pastoral Ministers
- St. Peter of Alcantara, Port Washington, 1996-2010, Hispanic Ministry