Great Irish Fair

Kathleen Slattery Woman of the Year – Sister Marie Mackey, C.S.J.

Sister Marie

Sister Marie Mackey, C.S.J., grew up in the parish of Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary in the predominantly Italian neighborhood of Ozone Park, where she knew more about the Italian customs and traditions of her neighbors than she did of her own Irish relatives. That is, until, she took her first trip to Ireland in 1980.

She would return several times to Ireland and with the help of her sister-in-law, Veronica, an avid genealogist/archivist, she learned more about her family.

Over the years, she has taken courses in Irish history, read many of the great Irish playwrights and enjoys Irish music. She dreams of being able to once again visit the land of her ancestors.

“Every time I have traveled to Ireland, I feel that I have learned something new and illuminating about myself and my family, as well as my personal relationship with God,” she says.

The daughter of James and Marie (Evans) Mackey, from St. Sylvester parish, East New York, and St. Leonard, Bushwick, respectively, she attended Nativity School, Ozone Park; The Mary Louis Academy, Jamaica Estates; St. Joseph’s College, Clinton Hill; Immaculate Conception Seminary, Huntington; and Boston College School of Theology and Ministry.

Inspired by the dedication of the Ursuline Sisters, the Sisters of St. Joseph and the many lay teachers who taught her, she chose the teaching profession and pursued degrees in English and theology. She taught at Bishop Kearney H.S., Brooklyn, 1984-89; St. Francis Prep, Fresh Meadows, 1989-99; and The Mary Louis Academy, 2001-16. She has also been an instructor for the Lay Ecclesial Ministry Program as well as the Living and Leading by Faith Diocesan Education Program.

In 1998, she entered the Sisters of St. Joseph of Brentwood. In June 2016, she began serving as the director of Young Adult Ministry and Vocational Discernment for the Sisters of St. Joseph.