Sr. Mary Ellen


Date of Birth: November 19, 1926

Entered into Eternal Life: November 16, 2019

From her eulogy by Sr. Jean Hayes OSF

     The souls of the just are in the hands of God. This verse sums up the “Hope” that is present for all of us.  It is a promise given to us that we will rest in the arms of the Lord for all eternity.

     Today, we are here to celebrate the life of Sister Mary Ellen Keady and today is her birthday. She would have been 93! What a grand entrance into heaven! We sing with joy and gladness for the gift of her life as an Allegany Franciscan for seventy years.

     How her life unfolded as an Allegany Franciscan was unique and special to her. She lived her vocation in response to the presence of the Holy Spirit in her life. Her life mirrored the gospel as she proclaimed the word of God each day.

     When I read the Obituary, I was amazed to see all the paths she had pursued to spread the gospel message.  She was a teacher, a principal, and a guidance counselor. She also served in health care as a Patient Services Coordinator at St. Anthony’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida. However the best was yet to come in her life.

     In 2007, she retired to the Motherhouse and ministered as librarian and played the organ for Mass and special events.

     Sr. Mary Ellen played the piano and organ by ear. All you had to do was hum the tune and she would play. She was so talented and used this ability each day to provide entertainment for the Sisters in the infirmary. As the Sisters entered the dining room, she would be playing all the old songs. The Sisters never missed a single word or beat in the songs and sang to their hearts content. She never forgot them and indeed they felt the love each time she played.

     The song by Andrew Lloyd Webber, “Love Changes Everything” is a fitting summation of Mary Ellen’s life. The next time it is played, listen to the words and you will visualize Mary Ellen. Her love for the Lord changed everything and she radiated His peace and love.

     Together we join our prayer in thanking God for His graciousness in permitting us to share in Mary Ellen’s life and we thank God for the part that she played in our journey back to the Lord.

     Rest in peace Mary Ellen and totally rejoice in your eternal reward.