Sister Margaret A. Purtell, Maryknoll Sister for 66 Years Dies

Sister Margaret Anne Purtell died on June 25th, 2018 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, NY. She was 89 years old and had been a Maryknoll Sister for 66 years.

Margaret was born in Brooklyn, NY on July 27th, 1928 to Marie R. (McNally) Purtell and Joseph A. Purtell.  She had one brother, Joseph and one sister, Marie. Her parents and sister have pre-deceased her.

 Margaret graduated from Bishop McDonnell Memorial High School in Brooklyn, NY in 1946; after graduation she worked as a clerk at the NY Telephone Co. in Brooklyn until 1951.

 She entered the Maryknoll Sisters Novitiate at the Venard in Clarks Summit, PA on September 6th, 1951 from her home parish, St. Therese of Lisieux, in Brooklyn.  At her Reception she received the religious name Sister Marie Joseph. She made her First Profession of Vows on March 7th, 1954 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center and her Final Vows on March 7th, 1960 in Kansas City, MO.

From 1954-1955, she attended Maryknoll Teachers College in Maryknoll, NY and St. Teresa’s College, in Winona, MN from 1955-1956; where she earned a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing. In 1969, she received a Masters of Education Degree in Nursing Administration at Columbia Teachers College in New York City.

 In 1958, Sister Margaret was assigned to Queen of the World Hospital in Kansas City, MO; where she served as Operating Room Supervisor, Nursing Supervisor and Assistant Director of Nurses until 1963. She received her first overseas mission assignment to Korea in 1963 and studied the Korean language in Seoul. From 1964-1965 she was Nursing and Operating Room Supervisor and then Clinic Supervisor from 1965-1967 both in Pusan, Korea. She then moved to Taiwan to serve as Adviser to the National Taiwan University Hospital from 1969-1971.

Sister Margaret returned to the United States in 1971, where she worked in the Maryknoll Sisters Center’s Promotion and Mission Education Department. In 1973, she returned to Inchon, Korea, and took a refresher course of the language before returning to the Maryknoll Hospital in Pusan to serve as Supervisor of Nurses from 1974-1975.  In 1976, she moved to Seoul where she was involved in Justice and Peace work until 1979, when she returned to the United States for Congregational Service. From 1979-2011, Sister Margaret served in various roles at the Maryknoll Sisters Center: Health Care Nurse, Telephone Receptionist, Director of the Information Systems Office for ten years, Planned Giving Associate, and Coordinator of the Maryknoll Sisters Retreat House in Watch Hill, Rhode Island until her retirement in 2010.

 Vespers service will be held for Sister Margaret at 4:15 p.m. on Thursday, June 28, 2018 in the Chapel of the Annunciation at the Maryknoll Sisters Center.  The Mass of the Resurrection will follow on Friday, June 29, 2018 at 11:00 a.m., also in the Main Chapel at the Center. Interment will follow in the Maryknoll Sisters Cemetery on the Center grounds.