My sculpture was the best way I could express that God, ever compassionate and kind, is incarnated in the figures I sculpt.
Sister Margaret Beaudette (Sister Marie Gerard) was born March 5, 1928 in Astoria, New York. She was one of three children, two daughters and one son, born to Aldrick and Margaret Doyle Beaudette. Margaret attended Immaculate Conception School, Astoria, and Blessed Sacrament High School and Hunter College, both in Manhattan. She entered the Sisters of Charity of New York on February 1, 1947. Sister received a BA in Art from the College of Mount Saint Vincent and an MFA from the Catholic University of America in Washington, DC, with a major in sculpture.
While Sister Margaret is well known for her many artistic creations, her early ministry was in education, on the elementary, high school and college levels. After teaching at Saint John the Baptist and Saint Mary Star of the Sea, Brooklyn, Immaculate Heart of Mary, Scarsdale, and Saint Barnabas, Bronx, she became the Art teacher at Saint Joseph by-the-Sea HS, Staten Island. From 1969 until 1989 she was head of the Art Department at Elizabeth Seton College, Yonkers, and taught at Saint Athanasius School and the College of Mount Saint Vincent. In 1976, the first dedication of one of Sister Margaret’s sculptures was held at Sacred Heart Church, Manhattan. This was followed by the commission for a bronze statue of Paul the Apostle for Saint Paul’s Church, Manhattan. A bonded bronze sculpture of Elizabeth Ann Seton stands in Boyle Hall at Mount Saint Vincent with additional castings at the College of Saint Elizabeth, Convent Station, NJ, and the New York Catholic Center, 1011 First Avenue, Manhattan.
In 1987, Sister Margaret began to work full time as a sculptor. Since that time, her work, which includes more than sixty major statues, can be seen across the United States in hospitals, churches, shrines, and places of burial. In addition, she has sculptures in France, Canada, Bermuda, Haiti, and South Korea. Sister Margaret is the recipient of various awards: the J. Dudley Diggs Award for Sculpture, the Mother Teresa Award from the Saint Bernadette Institute of Sacred Art, and the Seton Legacy of Charity Bicentennial Medal, as one whose life emulates the spirit and mission of Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton, to name a few.
Sister Margaret once said, “My sculpture was the best way I could express that God, ever compassionate and kind, is incarnated in the figures I sculpt.” Sister Margaret generously shared her talents and creativity with a very appreciative world. She will long be remembered for her giftedness, kindness, a wonderful sense of humor, and her love of life and community. We thank God that we had the opportunity to know you and share life with you, Peggie. May you be warmly welcomed by our loving God whom you served so long and so well for seventy years as a Sister of Charity. Rest in peace, Sister Margaret.
Click here to view Sister Margaret’s funeral mass.
Date of Death
March 12, 2017
Mount Saint Vincent Convent
6301 Riverdale Avenue
Bronx, NY 10471
Thursday, March 16, 2017
2:00 pm to 6:30 pm
Prayer Vigil at 4:30 pm
Mass of Christian Burial
Chapel of the Immaculate Conception
(on the campus of the College of Mount Saint Vincent)
Friday, March 17, 2017
Burial of cremains will take place at a later date.
Diocese of Brooklyn
- St. John the Baptist, Bklyn
- St. Mary Star of the Sea, Bklyn
Archdiocese of New York
- Immaculate Heart of Mary, Scarsdale
- St. Barnabas, Bronx
- St. Joseph by-the-Sea, Staten Island
1963–69, Art Teacher
- Elizabeth Seton College, Yonkers
1969–89, Art Teacher, Assoc. Prof., Chairperson
- St. Athanasius, Bronx
1969–74 Art Teacher, Part-time
- College of Mount Saint Vincent, Bronx
1969–74, Art Teacher, Part-time
- DePaul Studio, Mount Saint Vincent
I am deeply touched in many ways as a Staten Islander from a family of Artists. I pray that she rest in joyful peace. Thank you.
We have known Sr. Peggy since our days at St. Joseph’s Parish in Manhattan. A hug and the brightest smile were always offered. Although we rarely saw each other in recent years, we still got the same hug and smile when we did meet. We are very grateful for having known her.
Lynn Corwin & Charles Scardino
I didn’t know Peggy well but her warmth and open kindness were always felt by me when our paths crossed. I am sad to hear of her passing.
I will always be grateful for the opportunity I had in meeting Sr. Margaret when she was commissioned to create the Sorrowful Mother statue in memory of my dear wife Josephine. Through the course of this project, Sr. Magaret and I developed a friendship that will remembered for the res of my life. Sr. Margaret assisted me with my grieving for the loss of my wife. Sr. Margaret was beloved by all people who came in contact with her during the 70 years of service with the Sisters of Charity of NY. Sr. Margaret spent many years as a teacher and became a marvelous artist/sculptor. Her last project was the creation of a Shrine honoring St. Elizabeth Ann Seton and the Congregation of Sisters of Charity of NY, who will celebrate their 200th Anniversary in 2017. The Shrine is scheduled to be installed in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in NYC on
October 8th, 2017. May my dear friend Sr. Margaret rest in peace. Love, Frank
My privilege to know of Sr. Peggy’s beautiful work really came with the relief sculpture of St.Mary Magdalen proclaiming the Resurrection, that I came to know through Rita Houlihan. I also came in contact with Sister working with Sr. Katy Aucoin. I am so happy I last had acquaintance in person with Sister this past Nov. For my alumnae reunion from St Vincent’s Hospital School of Nursing. Always gracious and so talented, thank you and bless you in peace.
Ethelyn Labissiere Smyley,RN
So grateful to have met her several years ago at CMSV! An amazingly creative artist whose sculptures grace not only the Mount, but also St. John’s University, in Queens. From now on, every time I look at the small statue of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton I have in my office and which Sr. Margaret sculpted, I will remember her and will say a prayer for the repose of her soul. An extraordinary woman, indeed!
Thank you, Rosalba. Her memory will indeed live on throughout the Vincentian Family. We, too, are grateful for the small statues that serve to remind us not only of the mission but of the artist who so lovingly shared her gifts.
Can anyone ever be the same after meeting Sister Peggie? I know I wasn’t. I met Sister Peggie at an artists retreat. I don’t know what captured my heart more, her wit, storytelling, or sculptures. What a wonderful, brilliant human being. I last had the pleasure of seeing her this past October and am grateful I got to experience her tender, witty self once again. I can still see the smile on her face and hear her voice saying, “Bye Lisa, come back and visit soon.” Rest in peace dear Peggie, and know you left this world a better place. With love and faith, Lisa
We agree, Lisa. Those who knew Sister Peggie realize the gift it is to have been known as a friend. Blessings to you.
If I were to paint a picture of the ‘Peggy’ my heart will FOREVER hold it would be filled with sparkles of blue, pearls of white, golden rays of orange, greens like fresh blades of grass BUT especially YELLOW like buttercups…like LIGHT—Peggy was like the Sun…her glow—brilliant. Her friendship—A TREASURE…I’ll never be the same because she LIVED!
Beautiful and powerful reflection. Thank you for sharing.
What a gift Peggy had been in my life. I shall remember fondly the many times I spent with her most especially when we visited Peggy in NY and she shared her home with us. What fun we had when she drove us to view her humble studio…a small space where she would create incredible life size sculptures. I will be grateful forever for my friend Peggy.
Your lovely memories are a treasure. Blessings.
An amazing woman whose talent and spirit touched the hearts of so many. She will be missed.
We agree! We miss her already. Thank you.
Sr. Gerard (as I knew her many years ago) was an amazing woman and inspiration to so many others. She always touched my heart and was one of my favorite art and Spanish teachers. I have never forgotten her from my high school years at St. Joseph by the Sea from 1963-1967. Her legacy and spirit will live on.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts. A lovely tribute.
I will miss our visits dear Peggy it was my pleasure to know you for these years that you and my Sister Katie were best friends . Your reward is great I am sure . Hopefully I will be seeing you again your friend Gina
Sister Margaret Beaudette SC you will be missed and your work will be forever in the Lords favor
My Peggie, I do and will miss you for the rest of my life. there are no swan songs in eternity. Wait for me at the gates, I hope to see you soon. Your, Katie
Thank you Sister Peggy for befriending this “pachysandra hopping” art appreciator; your generous spirit; and your embodying Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton’s motto “Hazard Yet Forward!” Your friend & fan, Dr. Maureen Byrnes, Seton Hall University-College of Nursing
+Dear Sister Peggy,
You were the best Art teacher I ever had. You have been a glorious participant in God’s creation who spent your life bringing others to that same state of awe and appreciation. I cherish that I knew you. Thank you so much!
With love, prayers, and gratitude,
Camille, one of your students from Sea