Sister Ellen brought her keen mind and perceptive insights to matters of the Congregation, Church, and the global community. 


Sister Ellen Quirke, formerly Sister Ellen Marie, was born November 26, 1926, in Manhattan, the only daughter of four children of John and Helen O’Connell Quirke. Ellen attended Incarnation Elementary School and Holy Cross Academy, both in Manhattan, and worked for a year before entering the Sisters of Charity of New York on September 8, 1945. Sister Ellen received a BS in Education from Fordham University, an MA in Pastoral Counseling from Iona College and an MSW in Social Work from Fordham University. She later earned New York State Permanent Certification in Elementary Education and Certification as a Social Worker.

Sister Ellen’s 49 years of active ministry began with 17 years in elementary education. She served at Saint Margaret of Cortona in the Bronx, Saint Denis in Yonkers, Holy Name, Saint Francis Xavier, Saint Agnes, and Our Lady of Mount Carmel School, where she was Principal, all in Manhattan. In 1964, the Congregation assigned Sister Ellen as Director of the Juniorate (sisters in temporary profession) at Mount Saint Vincent. In 1969, she began a 27-year ministry in social work, serving at Saint Joseph’s Hospital in Yonkers, and the New York Foundling, Grace Institute and the Center for Peace and Justice, all in Manhattan.

For 18 years, Sister Ellen ministered in the neighborhoods of lower New York out of the Departments of Community Medicine and Visiting Home Care of Saint Vincent Hospital and Medical Center, Manhattan, and attended the senior members of Encore Community Services at Saint Malachy Church, mid-Manhattan. In an interview for the Hospital’s News and Notes, Sister Ellen reflected that her service with the people was a blessing that mutually healed her as minister and those to whom she ministered. In 1996, Sister Ellen retired from active service and, in 2007, joined the retired sisters at Mount Saint Vincent Convent. Recently, she lived with the sisters at the Kittay Senior Apartments in the Bronx, and it is here she died on July 9, 2022, in the 77th year of commitment as a Sister of Charity of New York.

Sister Ellen brought her keen mind and perceptive insights to matters of the Congregation, Church, and the global community. She enriched discussions among the sisters from reading The New York Times, academic periodicals, church documents, and reflection and prayer with scripture. Her years in social work, particularly her experience in the community health programs, shaped her as a woman “. . .of healing, sensitive to the wounds of persons and to the systemic evils of our times” (Constitution, Sisters of Charity).

Sister Ellen, through all your life experiences and the many people you met, you reflected the joy of God whom you served as a Sister of Charity. Rest in peace in the joy of God, Sister Ellen.



Date of Death
July 9, 2022


Friday, July 15, 2022
8–9:00 a.m.
Prayer Service at 8:30 a.m.
Flynn Memorial Home
(Masks required)
1652 Central Park Avenue
Yonkers, New York 10710
Streaming begins at 8:30 a.m.:

Friday, July 15, 2022
9:45 a.m.
St. Margaret of Cortona Church
(Masks highly recommended)
6000 Riverdale Avenue
Bronx, NY 10471
Live Streaming begins at 9:45 a.m.:

At a later date


Archdiocese of New York

  • St. Margaret of Cortona, Bronx
    1947-55, Teacher, Gr. 3
  • Holy Name, Manhattan
    1955-56, Teacher, Gr. 4
  • St. Francis Xavier, Manhattan
    1956-58, Teacher, Gr. 4
  • St. Agnes, Manhattan
    1958-60, Teacher, Gr. 7
  • St. Denis, Yonkers
    1960-61, Teacher, Gr. 8
  • Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Manhattan
    1961-64, Principal
  • Mount Saint Vincent, Bronx
    1964-69, Director of Juniorate
  • New York Foundling Hospital, Manhattan
    1969-70, Social Worker
  • Fordham University (Jacobi Hospital), Bronx
    1970-72, Full-time Student of Social Work
  • St. Joseph Hospital, Yonkers
    1972-75, Psychiatric Social Worker
  • Grace Institute and Center for Peace and Justice
    1975-76, Social Worker
  • St. Vincent Hospital and Medical Center, Manhattan
    1976-94, Social Worker, Community Medicine
  • St. Vincent Hospital / Encore Community Services, Manhattan
    1994-96, Social Worker