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Diocese of Rockville Centre

Sr. John Raymond McGann, CSJ 91 Print E-mail


Tara Rogers
Director of Communications
Sisters of St. Joseph
631-273-1187 x126


The Passing of Sister John Raymond McGann, CSJ

It is with great sadness that the Sisters of St. Joseph Brentwood announce the death of Sister John Raymond McGann, C.S.J. Sister John Raymond passed away peacefully on the morning of January 6, 2016, at St. Joseph’s Convent, the Motherhouse of the Sisters of St. Joseph in Brentwood, Long Island. She was ninety-one.
She was predeceased by her twin brother, Bishop John Raymond McGann, Bishop of the Rockville Centre Diocese (1976 -2000), and by her other siblings: Sister Thomas Joseph, CSJ, Madeline McGann, Thomas McGann, Joseph McGann, and James McGann. She is survived by her sister-in-law Nancy McGann, and her nieces and nephews. Sister John was in the 68th year of her religious life. 

Sister John Raymond’s education began at Our Lady of Good Counsel and St. Angela Hall High School. After completing a B.A. in English at the College of New Rochelle and an M.A. in English at Columbia University, and after one year of teaching in the public school system, Sister John Raymond joined the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1948.

After teaching at St. Brendan’s Parochial School and Fontbonne Hall High School, Sister John joined the faculty of St. Joseph’s College in 1956 as chairman of the Education Department. During her years at the college, her religious superiors called upon her to pursue further graduate study, and she subsequently earned a Ph.D. from St. John’s University and completed post-doctoral studies at Catholic University, Ohio State University and Loyola University. She made extraordinary contributions to both the Brooklyn and the Long Island campuses of St. Joseph College.

Sister John Raymond served as General Superior of the Sisters of St. Joseph from 1978 to 1986. In that role, she led the congregation with wisdom and courage to live out and consolidate the changes resulting from the Second Vatican Council. The mission of the congregation flourished as Sisters continued to minister in parishes, schools and medical facilities. It expanded as Sisters became involved in social services, ministry to the imprisoned, providing shelter to those in need, and social justice issues. The life of the congregation was of great importance to her and out of a deep spirituality, Sister John Raymond encouraged participation and a great love for the members and mission of the Sisters of Saint Joseph.

She was awarded honorary degrees by Niagara University and St. John’s University and served on the Board of Trustees of eleven C.S.J. high schools, as well as Cleary School for the Deaf, St. Francis School for the Deaf, Catholic Medical Center in Brooklyn, Maria Regina Residence and St. Joseph’s College (1973-2014).

Her tireless service and selfless loving leadership enriched countless lives over the decades, and as we acknowledge her contributions to the communities to which she devoted her life, it is timely to reflect upon a quote of hers printed in The Tablet in 1978, shortly after Sister John Raymond was elected General Superior of the Sisters of St. Joseph: “A Sister never retires. Her total life is a response to the Lord, until the day she dies.”  

Sacred Heart Chapel, St. Joseph’s Convent, Brentwood
Sunday, January 10, 3-7 p.m.
Monday, January 11, 2-6:30 p.m.
Prayer service at 6:30 p.m.

Sacred Heart Chapel, St. Joseph’s Convent, Brentwood
Tuesday, January 12

Opening Ritual begins at 10:30 am, followed by the Mass at 11 a.m.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to:
Sisters of St. Joseph Brentwood
Mission Advancement Office
1725 Brentwood Rd., Building 4
Brentwood, NY 11717

Located in Brentwood, NY, The Sisters of St. Joseph Brentwood are the largest order of Catholic women religious on Long Island with more than 500 members, and have a 160-year tradition of ministering wherever they are needed including the Dioceses of Brooklyn and Rockville Centre, the New York Archdioceses, and incommunities located in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Florida, Indiana, New Jersey, Washington, D.C., Appalachia, California, Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic, and Brazil. The Sisters of St. Joseph believe in the power and presence of a loving God active in our world, for all time, and in this time. United with all who minister with them, they seek to bring God’s healing and reconciling love through empowering women and girl, health care, social justice, spirituality, education and preserving the environment. The Sisters of St. Joseph operate five schools for girls in New York -Fontbonne Hall Academy, The Mary Louis Academy, Sacred Heart Academy, St. Joseph H.S, Bishop Kearney H.S., as well as Academia Maria Reina in San Juan Puerto Rico. At their Brentwood campus, the Sisters operate The CSJ Learning Connection for Adult Education, Maria Regina skilled nursing facility, their Organic Garden to promote ecological conservation, and the St. Joseph’s Renewal Center for spiritual renewal. Providence House and Hour Children, founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph, are programs to help incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women and their children in Brooklyn, Queens and Westchester. For more information, please visit