In the early nineteen hundreds, it was unusual for a young lady to have a college degree, as well as, to travel extensively. Sister Mary Josepha was the exception. She not only graduated from Good Counsel College, she was a veteran traveler who journeyed with her sister Anna to Europe several times. If it were up to Count Boris, whom she met during her travels, Josepha would have become a Countess of some remote province in Europe. However, she realized her calling was to become a Religious of the Divine Compassion. So, in 1933, Julia O’Reilly entered the novitiate at Good Counsel in White Plains.
She was intelligent, enthusiastic, spirited and a delight. Here are a few memories which our sisters hold dear.
When Josepha was stationed in Saint Bernard’s Parish, in White Plains, she shared a bedroom with Sister Dorothy Weber. Every evening after dinner and before recreation which was at 8 P.M., the sisters would go to their respective rooms to prepare for the next school day. Josepha would always leave a wee bit early for recreation and when leaving the room, she would put out the lights, leaving Dorothy in the dark every evening.
Sister Joan O’Sullivan remembers Josepha as a very strong and literal woman. Both Joan and Josepha lived in Mahopac. She remembers the time that one of the sisters told Josepha she had a phone call from a Stepinac High School parent. Immediately, Josepha picked up the phone and said with much exuberance, “Good evening, Mrs. Stepinac.”
Sister Alice Conrad remembers Josepha asking her if she could drop her off at her sister Anna’s house on her way to see her brother. Alice responded there was one problem. Alice said, “My brother lives in Indiana and your sister Anna lives in Tucson, Arizona!!!”
Josepha was a beautiful person, loved by all who knew her, especially children. She was a great story teller and would captivate children, even those she met while strolling on the boardwalk in Ventnor. She had a talent for mesmerizing children’s imagination.