Obituaries, Week of March 2, 2024

Elizabeth Ann Callahan, OP, (Sister Elizabeth Mary), was called home on Ash Wednesday by the God she loved and served for almost 75 years. She was 91 years old. 

Born on July 20, 1932, Elizabeth, known as Betty to family and friends, was raised in Mineola, New York. 

On Sept. 8, 1949, Betty entered the Novitiate at Amityville. She was clothed in the Dominican habit and received her religious name, Sister Elizabeth Mary, on Aug. 4, 1950. 

Betty’s early teaching assignments were in elementary education at St. Catherine of Siena, St Alban’s; Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Lindenhurst; St. Luke, Whitestone; and Most Holy Trinity, Brooklyn. From 1967 to 1970 she taught at Colegio Santa Rosa, Bayamon, Puerto Rico. 

Sensing a call to contemplative life, in 1961 Betty transferred to Visitation Monastery in Mobile, Alabama, where she remained until 1968. Upon her return to the congregation in Amityville, she continued her teaching ministry at Corpus Christi, Mineola, and Annunciation, Brooklyn. 

She returned to Puerto Rico in 1970 and taught high school in San Antonio, Isabella. Her ministry in secondary education took her to St. Michael, Brooklyn; Maria Regina, Uniondale; and Our Lady of Perpetual Help, Brooklyn. In 1978, she was appointed principal at Little Flower, Montauk Beach. For 11 years she demonstrated her administrative ability and creative approach to elementary education. 

For more than two decades, Betty taught at Groveland Correctional Facility in Sonyea, New York, and ministered to the prisoners there. As a lifelong learner, she sought out courses that would provide intellectual stimulation and cultural enrichment. 

Betty loved singing and playing the piano and enjoyed steel drum music. She had a beautiful singing voice and was a member of the Huntington Chorale and of the Motherhouse Choir. 

Betty is survived by her 10 nieces, five nephews and their families, and by her loving sisters in community. 

Funeral services for Sister Betty took place Friday, Feb. 23, in St. Albert Chapel, Queen of the Rosary Motherhouse. 

The Mass of Christian Burial was followed by interment in St. Dominic Cemetery on the Motherhouse grounds.