Sister Mary Aquin McDonald, retired DRE, dies



Sister Mary Aquin McDonald, 87, of the Dominican Sisters of Hope, and former director of religious education and elementary school teacher in the Diocese of Camden, died May 12 at Orange Regional Medical Center in Middletown, N.Y.

Born Dec. 29, 1927 in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., she entered the novitiate of the Dominican Sisters of Newburgh, N.Y., on Sept. 8, 1945; made her first profession on June 25, 1947; and her final profession on Aug. 26, 1950.

For almost 40 years, from 1947-83, Sister Mary Aquin served as a teacher and principal in elementary and secondary schools across New Jersey and New York. In the Diocese of Camden, she taught at St. Rose of Lima School in Haddon Heights, 1955-57.

After her time in the classroom and principal’s office, she transitioned into parish life, at Church of the Holy Family in Sewell.

From 1984-2005, she was director of religious education at the parish, after which she remained at Holy Family as a pastoral associate until 2011.

Retired, Sister Mary Aquin recently moved to Braemer Senior Living in Middletown.

Father Robert Hughes, Vicar General of the Diocese of Camden, was pastor of Holy Family at the time Sister Mary Aquin served there.

“I had the pleasure of working with Sister Mary Aquin for many years at Holy Family Parish,” he recalled. “Sister, who served the parish for more than 20 years, influenced the faith lives of many children and their parents and was greatly missed when she retired and moved back to New York. Her name lives on at the parish’s Aquin Center. May her example, and the help of her prayers, continue to lead families to a deeper love of the Lord and his church.”

Sister Mary Aquin is survived by one brother, William McDonald and his wife Joan, of Poughkeepsie; sister-in-law Mrs. Ellis McDonald of Buena Park, Calif.; many nieces and nephews; and her Dominican Sisters of Hope.

A Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated May 19 at the chapel in the Dominican Center at Mount St. Mary College in Newburgh. Burial was in the Dominican Sisters Cemetery in Newburgh.

Donations in Sister Mary Aquin’s name can be sent to the Dominican Sisters of Hope Development Office, 299 North Highland Avenue, Ossining, N.Y. 10562.