Obituaries, Week of May 20, 2023

Sister Claire Gallagher, OP, was called by God to her eternal home on the afternoon of May 2. She was 89 years old and had dedicated 70 years of her life as a Dominican sister. 

On September 11, 1934, Marcella (Magrath) Gallagher and George Gallagher welcomed their second daughter into this world. They named her Claire. They brought Claire home to Brooklyn. Fourteen Holy Martyrs Parish and School played an important part in Claire’s life. The Sisters of Saint Dominic taught there. Claire went to Our Lady of Wisdom High School. She chose her teacher, Sister Ann Joseph, to be her sponsor when her call to Dominican life became clear to her. 

On September 12, 1953, Claire entered the Novitiate in Amityville. She was given the habit and received her religious name, Sister Jeanne Canice, on Aug. 4, 1954. She pronounced her first vows on Aug. 8, 1955, and final vows on Aug. 8, 1958. 

Sister Claire earned a Bachelor of Arts in Social Sciences General from Saint John’s University. She received Permanent Certification in Social Studies from New York State and Permanent Certification in Business Management from the American Management Association. 

Sister Claire’s first ministry was teaching in St. Pancras School, Glendale, from 1955-1966. She then went on to teach at St. Catherine of Sienna School, St. Albans, from 1966-1968. She served as Principal at St. Patrick School, Huntington, from 1968-1971 and at Our Lady of Hope School, Middle Village, from 1971-1972. She worked at the Finance Office of the Brooklyn Diocese from 1973 to 2006. 

Sister Claire worked very hard at this office trying to keep the schools in poorer areas open. After retirement, Sister Claire volunteered at the Catherine Laboure Special Education Program sponsored by the Department of Education, Brooklyn, New York, as a mentor from 2007-2011. 

Sister Claire was predeceased by her parents and by her sister Marcella. She will be dearly missed by the Kaiser children — Jeanne, Barbara, Amy, William, James, Timothy, Michael, and Eric. 

All services for Sister Claire took place in St. Albert Chapel at Queen of the Rosary Motherhouse. The Mass of Christian Burial was followed by interment in St. Dominic Cemetery, located on the Motherhouse grounds. 

Sister Angelita Conk, CSJ, died peacefully in Sacred Heart Convent, Hempstead, her home for 42 years, on April 30, 2023, at the age of 99. The youngest of 5 children, born to Thomas and Mary Conk, she attended Holy Cross School and St. Joseph High School in Brooklyn and entered the Sisters of St. Joseph, Brentwood, in 1944. She was called to the same community as her sister, Sister Mary Leonie, who died in 2009. 

Sister Angelita’s business acumen began in high school and continued at St. John’s University, where she received a BBA, and at Hunter College, where she achieved an MS in administration and supervision. She continued with certifications in health, school administration, and religion through the Diocese of Rockville Centre, which prepared her well for her ministry in education in the Brooklyn Diocese at Holy Name, Holy Family, St. Benedict Joseph, and St. Francis de Sales schools, and Stella Maris and OLPH high schools. 

Her Rockville Centre assignments included St. Joachim, Cedarhurst as principal, cure of ars in the library, and from 1981 to 2003 as bursar in Sacred Heart Academy, Hempstead, New York. 

The inner beauty and heart of Sister Angelita extended itself to everyone she encountered. The peace and joy she exuded are remembered by Sisters in community, family, and students. 

As a Sister of St. Joseph for almost 80 years, her living of the CSJ charism — love of God and neighbor without distinction — was very evident through her hospitality. Her wisdom and peaceful demeanor endeared her to everyone. 

Father James Wood celebrated her Mass of Christian Burial on May 4, 2023, in Sacred Heart Chapel, Brentwood, followed by her burial in Calvary Cemetery.