Sister Alice Daly, MM

Born: January 2, 1899
Entered: October 14, 1925
Died: August 4, 1985

Today, on the Eve of the Feast of St. Dominic, we come together to bid farewell to our Sister Alice Daly, who entered into Eternal Life in the early morning of Sunday, August 4th, 1985 at Phelps Memorial Hospital. Sister Alice cherished our Dominican heritage and it is fitting that she should be laid to rest on this day. We thank God for the gift of Sister’s life and rejoice that we have another Maryknoller in heaven.

Alice Daly was born on January 2, 1897 at Roxbury, Massachusetts. She was one of four daughters and three sons born to Mary and John Daly. Alice was very devoted to her family and especially to her sisters with whom she kept a close bond of friendship. When her health still allowed, she spent her Renewal and vacation days at home with her sisters. She was comforted during her last years by the faithful visits of her nieces which meant a lot to her.

After completing 2 years of studies at Roxbury Evening High School, Alice worked as a bookkeeper to help her family. It was through her membership in the Sodality of the Blessed Virgin Mary that she came to know of Maryknoll and became interested in religious life and missions. Alice entered Maryknoll on October 14th, 1925. On her Reception Day she received her religious name, Sister Mary Thomasina. She made her first profession of vows on April 30th, 1928 and three years later, pronounced her final vows.

In the summer of 1928, Sister Alice attended the Catholic University in Washington, D.C. to learn teaching methods, in preparation for her mission assignment in Hawaii. In October of that year she was among the second group of Maryknoll Sisters to arrive in the Pacific Islands. During her ten years in Hawaii, Sister Alice developed her natural gift for teaching children first in St. Anthony’s School, Wailuku, Maui, then in Maryknoll School in Sacred Heart Parish, Punahou, and later in the District of Heeia (now Kaneohe City). She had a great love for little children which was evident in her gentle, caring ways with them.

After her return to the Motherhouse in 1938, Sister Alice was assigned to different ministries: she did clerical and bookkeeping work in The Field Afar Records Office, and in our own Promotion Office, where her talent for statistics came in handy. She also taught in the catechetical program at Carmel, New York. Her co-workers praised her enthusiasm in preparing the children for their First Communion. Even as her health started to decline in the 1960s, Sister Alice helped in various household tasks here at the Center. One source of joy during those years was the time spent at Watch Hill where she did Sacristy work and most of the sewing of the curtains that have adorned the house up to now.

Sister Alice was always a pleasant, quiet and gentle person. She was mindful of sharing with her community any gift she received. At the same time, she was very appreciative and grateful of any little kindness done for her. Those who knew her well remember Sister Alice’s penchant for neatness and orderliness, both in her appearance, her room and her place of work. She lived up to one of the favored maxims of Bishop James Anthony Walsh: “Orderliness is next to Godliness.”

In February this year, Sister Alice celebrated her Diamond Jubilee with several members of her group here at the Center. In April, she became ill and she was admitted to the Maryknoll Nursing Home. In these past months, Sister Alice endured her suffering patiently. She, who came to Maryknoll “to serve and please God”, did so, faithfully up to the end. Alice died as she had lived, quietly and peacefully.

We extend our sympathy to Sister’s relatives and friends.

We welcome Maryknoll Father John Corcoran who will celebrate with us this morning this Eucharistic Liturgy of remembrance and thanksgiving.