“I have tried to live each day in deep gratitude.”
Sister Mary Aquin Flaherty (Mary Bridget) was born July 8, 1921, in Dumbarton, Scotland, the only child of Thomas and Mary Lavelle Flaherty. The family traveled to America, and Mary Bridget attended Saint Veronica School and then Cathedral High School, both in Manhattan. She worked for two years while attending evening classes at Hunter College before entering the Sisters of Charity on September 8, 1942.
Sister Mary Aquin earned a BS in History from College of Mount Saint Vincent, Bronx, and an MA in American History as well as an MA in Asiatic History from Saint John’s University, Queens. She later earned New York State permanent certification in Social Studies.
Sister Mary Aquin served sixty-one years in the ministry of education as both an elementary and high school teacher. Her first fifteen years of ministry were in elementary education at Saint Joseph, Yonkers; Ascension, Saint Brigid, and Saint Bernard, in Manhattan. For the next twelve years she taught Social Studies at Bishop McDonnell High School, Brooklyn, and her alma mater, Cathedral High School. She returned to elementary education at Saint Bernard, Manhattan, for the next twenty-three years, and then became Coordinator of Religious Education for Saint Bernard Parish for four years.
During a period when Sister Aquin was the caregiver for her mother, she worked as a per diem teacher at Public School 71 in the Bronx. This experience provided a direction for her services when she retired at Mount Saint Vincent Convent in 2005. For ten years she volunteered as a substitute teacher in the elementary schools of the Archdiocese of New York. Her lessons often included descriptions of the lands and traditions of Scotland, Ireland, and Halifax, Canada, along with the living faith expressions of the people, particularly their devotion to the Eucharist. Sister Aquin’s travels enabled her to enrich the students, especially with “spreading the Good News by travel-story parables.”
After residing at Mount Saint Vincent Convent for thirteen years, Sister Aquin joined the Sisters at Kittay Senior Apartments, Bronx, in 2018. Until her final days, she entertained listeners with stories about her family and the travelers she met along her journeys. Those she worked and lived with will remember her kindness, happiness, and enthusiasm for life. In her words, “I have tried to live each day in deep gratitude.” And she did just that until her death on January 29, 2020, at her residence in Kittay.
Sister Aquin, may our Lady, for whom you had a special devotion, be your traveling companion from this life to your welcome by her son, Jesus, to life eternal.
The Mass of Christian Burial will be live-streamed on Tuesday, February 4, at 10:30 am. Click on the link to join us. https://venue.streamspot.com/217aa3db
Date of Death
January 29, 2020
Mount Saint Vincent Convent
6301 Riverdale Ave., Bronx, NY
Tuesday, February 4, 2020, 9 a.m.
Reflection/Sharing: 10:30 a.m.
Mass of Christian Burial
Mount Saint Vincent Convent
Tuesday, February 4, 2020, 11 a.m
St. Joseph Cemetery, Yonkers, NY
Archdiocese of New York
- St. Joseph, Yonkers
1944–45, Teacher, Gr. 1
- Ascension, Manhattan
1945–54, Teacher, Gr. 1
- St. Brigid, Manhattan
1954–58, Teacher, Gr. 1
- St. Bernard, Manhattan
1958–59, Teacher, Gr. 4
1976–80, Teacher, Language Arts
1980–85, Teacher, Gr. 7
1985–92, Teacher, Gr. 8
1992–97, Teacher, Gr. 1
1999–03, CCD Coordinator
- Cathedral H.S., Manhattan
1967–71, Teacher, Social Studies
- St. Bernard/St. Francis Xavier, Manhattan
1997–99, Remedial reading and math
- Archdiocesan Catholic Schools
2003–05, Substitute Teacher
2005–15, Volunteer Substitute Teacher
- Mount Saint Vincent Convent, Bronx
2005–18, Prayer, Service, Witness
- Kittay Senior Apartments, Bronx
2018–20, Prayer, Service, Witness
Diocese of Brooklyn
- Bishop McDonnell Memorial HS, Brooklyn
1959–67, Teacher, Social Studies