January 17, 1933 – March 12, 2023
Sister Marilyn Feehan, CSJ, (formerly Sister Miriam Theresa), 90, died on March 12, 2023. Born in Albany, New York, on January 17, 1933, Sister Marilyn was the daughter of Joseph and Gertrude (Curran) Feehan. She had been a Sister of St. Joseph of Carondelet for 66 years. After graduating from Vincentian Institute in Albany, in 1950, Sister Marilyn attended The College of Saint Rose in Albany, earning a bachelor of arts in French in 1954 and a master’s in education in 1957. That same year, she entered the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet in Troy, New York, professing first vows in 1959 and final vows in 1964. In 1966. she received a master’s degree in French from The College of Saint Rose.
Sister Marilyn had extraordinary gifts of mind and heart, which she offered to her community, family, students and friends with generosity, humor and love. She began her ministry teaching high school French, but her lifelong passion was teaching junior high religion and theology, which she did at Cohoes Catholic Central Schools for 10 years and Catholic Central High School (CCHS), Troy, for more than 30 years.
On Sister Marilyn’s classroom wall was a quotation from St. Paul: “I am convinced of your goodness.” She saw her role as more mentor than instructor, guiding her students to find the good in themselves and others. While her theology teaching was both thorough and inspiring, her curriculum also offered students times of guided silent meditation and opportunities to help others with “random acts of kindness” programs. In this, other faculty members followed Sister Marilyn’s example, and soon the practice of “random acts of kindness” became a valued hallmark of CCHS life.
God gifted Marilyn with the ability to speak to young people in ways that made them want to listen. And if you wonder how the students reacted, to them she was not just another teacher, she was their “Saint Marilyn.” In recognition of her many decades of teaching, the Albany Diocese presented Sister Marilyn with the Saint Elizabeth Ann Seton Distinguished Teacher Award. She retired in 2009.
Sister Marilyn wove more than teaching into her journey: she published essays in national and local journals, read deeply in all genres, studied in France, enjoyed laughter and celebrations with family and friends, listened to classical music and offered each person she met love that accepted who they were without judgment. In addition, she served her religious community in vocation and leadership roles. Always most important to Sister Marilyn was her life of prayer and deep connection to her God. Whether praying with her community, praying the Rosary, praying at regular group meetings, living in a house of prayer or having a sabbatical year of silence and solitude: Sister Marilyn lived every moment in God’s loving presence and taught others to do the same.
Sister Marilyn was predeceased by her parents, her brother Thomas Feehan and her sister, Patricia Feehan Leary. She will be dearly missed by her sister-in-law, Alice Feehan; her faithful nieces and nephews; her Sisters of St. Joseph community and her many friends and former students, especially Sister Marion Honors, Kathy Schongar and Associate Mary Craven.
Her wake is at St. Joseph’s Provincial House on Tuesday, March 21, at 7:00 p.m., followed by her funeral on Wednesday, March 22, at 10:30 a.m.
Contributions in Sister Marilyn’s memory may be made to the Office of Mission Advancement, St. Joseph’s Provincial House, 385 Watervliet Shaker Rd., Latham, New York, 12110 or you can donate online.
Rest in peace sister Maryland