Obituaries, Week of Nov. 26, 2022

Father James J. Meszaros, a retired priest of the Diocese of Brooklyn, died Nov. 15 at age 83. 

He was born on March 18, 1939, in New Jersey, and was ordained to the priesthood on April 19, 1969. 

Father Meszaros served the Diocese of Brooklyn as Pastor of the Parish of Saint Stanislaus Bishop and Martyr in Ozone Park, Temporary Administrator of the Parish of Saint Mary Star of the Sea in Far Rockaway, and Parochial Vicar for the Parish of Most Precious Blood in Brooklyn. 

He was in residence at the Parish of Sacred Heart of Jesus in Bayside and Saint Josaphat in Bayside. 

Msgr. Thomas Machalski, pastor of Sacred Heart of Jesus Church, was a friend of Father Meszaros for 25 years. He said the priest “was very devoted to the Blessed Mother. He prayed the rosary multiple times a day — not three or five times, but as many as 10 to 12 times a day. He always had the rosary in his hands.” 

Msgr. Machalski also remembers that at each of the parishes he served, Father Meszaros “always wanted his parishioners to give God their best. And he always tried to give God his best.” 

The funeral Mass for Father Meszaros was held on Nov. 18, at Sacred Heart of Jesus Church in Bayside. 

Bishop Robert Brennan was the principal celebrant and Msgr. Machalski the homilist. 

A private interment followed in Father Meszaros’ native New Jersey. 

Sister Grace Andrew Callahan, a member of the Sisters of St. Joseph for 73 years, died on Nov. 3 at St. Joseph Convent, Brentwood, at age 91. 

Grace grew up in St. Francis de Sales parish in Belle Harbor. 

She attended Stella Maris High School and, after graduation, entered the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1949. 

Sister Grace always greeted everyone she met with her gracious smile; this was especially true of the children she taught on the elementary level in Our Lady of Sorrows in Corona, St. James in Brooklyn, St. Teresa of Avila in South Ozone Park, and Holy Name of Mary in Valley Stream. She later taught reading at the Brentwood Education Center. 

Sister Grace spent 49 years in St. Joseph’s Convent, Brentwood, faithfully assisting in various administrative positions. 

She lived her life with fidelity, joy, and grace. 

Known for her great devotion to the rosary, Grace was an apostle, faithful to her God, whose life was spent bringing others along to a deeper faith. 

Father Sean Gann celebrated the Mass of Christian Burial for Sister Grace on Nov. 10 in Sacred Heart Chapel, Brentwood. 

Burial followed in Calvary Cemetery, Brentwood. 

Sister Margaret Mary Althisar, OP (Sister Thomas Miriam), died on Nov. 7, at age 94. She had been a Sister of St. Dominic for 76 years. 

Margaret was born Feb. 19, 1928. The Althisar family lived in St. Catherine of Genoa Parish in Brooklyn. After graduation from elementary school, Margaret attended Bishop McDonnell High School. 

On Sept. 8, 1946, Margaret, along with a group of eager young girls, entered the Novitiate of the Sisters of St. Dominic in Amityville. Investing day was August 8, 1947, and Margaret was clothed in the Dominican habit and received her religious name, Sister Thomas Miriam. 

After professing her first vows on Aug. 7, 1948, Sister Thomas Miriam was assigned to Fourteen Holy Martyrs in Brooklyn. After 11 years in elementary education, she taught on the secondary level in St. Barbara and St. Albert high schools as well as at St. Joseph Mountain School and then Molloy College. Sister Margaret earned her Bachelor of Arts at St. John’s University in Jamaica, New York, her Master of Arts at St. Bonaventure University in New York, and her Certification in Counseling at the Center for Mental Health in New York City. In the 1970s, Sister Margaret was involved as a member of the executive board with a focus on Sisters Studies and Ministry. 

In 1995 Sister Margaret ministered in St. Martin of Tours Parish in Amityville. The Outreach Program benefited from the proceeds of The Cloak Room, a thrift shop where items were displayed with great taste. After 12 years serving the people of Amityville, Margaret moved east to Wyandanch and volunteered as an English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) teacher and counselor for women who attended the Opening Word Program. Students came from many different countries in Central and South America, as well as from China, Turkey, and Spain, to attend the program. 

The sisters who lived with Margaret described her as generous and hard-working. A friend described Margaret as “short in stature but a giant among us.” 

The Mass of Christian Burial for Sister Margaret Althisar took place in St. Albert Chapel on Nov. 15, 2022.