Obituaries, Week of March 16, 2024

Sister Mary Jane Phillips, OP (Sister Mary Francis) was welcomed into the arms of her loving God on Tuesday morning, March 5. Sister Mary Jane was 92 years old and had served as a Sister of St. Dominic for close to 68 years. 

Mary Jane was born Aug. 4, 1931 in Queens, the first-born daughter of Morley and Mary Phillips. 

After graduating from Jean Baptiste High School in Manhattan, Mary Jane began her studies in Mary Immaculate School of Nursing in Queens. She graduated as a Registered Nurse. Soon after graduating, Mary Jane enlisted in the United States Air Force and used her nursing skills at an Air Force Base in Texas. After her discharge from the Air Force, Mary Jane continued her nursing career as a public health nurse in Jamaica and also as a per diem nurse at Mary Immaculate Hospital. 

On Sept. 8, 1956, Mary Jane entered the Sisters of St. Dominic of Amityville as a member of the White Aster set. She was clothed in the Dominican habit on Aug. 5, 1957, and given the religious name, Sister Mary Francis. After a year of Novitiate, Sister pronounced her First Vows on Aug. 7, 1958. Three years later on Aug. 7, 1961, she pronounced her Final Vows. Subsequently, Sister Mary Jane received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from St. John’s University in Jamaica and a Master of Science in Psychiatric Nursing from Adelphi University in Garden City. 

As a Sister, Mary Jane ministered as a nurse for 19 years in Our Lady of Consolation Residence in West Islip, at Mary Immaculate Hospital in Jamaica, and Coney Island Hospital in Brooklyn. For the next 34 years, Sister Mary Jane taught Psychiatric Nursing at Molloy College (now University) in Rockville Centre. She moved to Rosary Hall in 2011. In 2017, as her health began to diminish, she moved to Carlin Hall. 

Sister Mary Jane will be missed by her niece Maureen, and by her nephews Christopher and Richard as well as by their families, and the many sisters with whom she lived in community. 

The wake and funeral for Sister Mary Jane took place in St. Albert Chapel in Amityville on Thursday, March 7, 2024. The Mass of Christian Burial was followed by interment in the Sisters’ Cemetery.