In Memoriam: Sister Mary Elizabeth Phelan, SC

Sister Mary Elizabeth will long be remembered by her students and their families for her kindness and compassion, as well as for all the knowledge she imparted to them.

Sr. Mary Elizabeth Phelan

Sister Mary Elizabeth Phelan (Sister Raymond Marian) was born March 30, 1937 in Staten Island. The daughter of John Raymond and Lillian Mary Heddle Phelan, Mary Elizabeth attended P.S. 20 and Saint Peter High School for Girls before entering the Sisters of Charity of New York on September 8, 1954. Sister Raymond Marian earned a BS in Science from the College of Mount Saint Vincent and an MS in Biology from the College of Saint Rose. She later earned NYS permanent certification in teaching Science K through 12.

Sister Mary Elizabeth began her ministry in education teaching the primary grades. She taught first and second grades at Saint John the Baptist and Assumption, both in Brooklyn. She was then assigned to Our Lady of Good Counsel, Manhattan, where she taught fifth grade. Sister was the sent to Immaculate Heart of Mary, Scarsdale, where she taught seventh and eighth grade Science. In 1966, Sister Mary Elizabeth was missioned to Holy Trinity in Mamaroneck where she taught Junior High Science and Math for the next eighteen years and became the principal for one year. In 1987, she went to teach at Saint Raymond Academy for Girls, where she worked for the next ten years. Sister Mary Elizabeth’s crippling arthritis hastened her retirement, but she continued to keep busy with volunteer services at Mount Saint Vincent Convent and the Convent of Mary the Queen. In 2004, Sister Mary Elizabeth moved to the Convent of Mary the Queen, and continued her volunteer service. Along with approximately twenty other Sisters of Charity, Sister Elizabeth moved to Kittay House in the Bronx in 2014. She received training as a hospice volunteer and used her many gifts in being a presence to the dying.

An educator par excellence, Sister Mary Elizabeth will long be remembered by her students and their families for her kindness and compassion, as well as for all the knowledge she imparted to them. Known as Liz by her friends, she was always thoughtful of others and continued to find ways to help schools and other Sister of Charity missions through fundraising activities. She was a computer whiz and was always willing and able to assist the less technically savvy among us. We rejoice with her now as she is welcomed into the Kingdom by our loving God, her family and friends, and all the Sisters of Charity who have gone before her. Be at peace, Sister Mary Elizabeth.



Date of Death
July 2, 2017


Wake & Mass of Christian Burial
Assembly Room
Mount Saint Vincent Convent
6301 Riverdale Avenue
Bronx, NY 10471

Thursday, July 6, 1 pm – 3 pm
Mass of Christian Burial to follow at 3 pm

Burial of cremains will take place at a later date at the Cemetery of Mount Saint Vincent



Diocese of Brooklyn

  • St. John the Baptist, Brooklyn
    1957–59, Teacher, Gr. 1
  • Assumption, Brooklyn
    1959–62, Teacher, Gr. 1–2

Archdiocese of New York

  • Our Lady of Good Counsel, Manhattan
    1962–65, Teacher, Gr. 5
  • Immaculate Heart of Mary, Scarsdale
    1965–66, Teacher, Science 7–8 Grads
  • Holy Trinity School, Mamaroneck
    1966–84, Teacher, Science 6–7, Math
    1985–86, Principal, Elementary School
  • St. Raymond Academy for Girls, Bronx
    1987–97, Ancillary Services


5 Responses to In Memoriam: Sister Mary Elizabeth Phelan, SC

  1. Philip Wilson July 5, 2017 at 5:52 pm #

    On behalf of Our Lady of Good Counsel, Class of 1954, and all the classes before and after, we offer our condolences to the family and friends and sister clergy of Sister Mary Elizabeth. In almost daily communication with hundreds of OLGC graduates and other Yorkville residents of the era, one constant topic is always the dedication and teaching skills of the nuns who made OLGC their home and their mission throughout the years. There is universal agreement that, without the Sisters of Charity, our roads through life would have been more difficult. The principles and disciplines we learned from them has served us well – then and now and ad infinitum.
    Rest in Peace sweet Sister Raymond Marian. All who were touched by your presence do, indeed, appreciate you.
    Philip Wilson, OLGC 1954

    • Webmaster July 5, 2017 at 7:30 pm #

      Thank you for your beautiful sentiments.

  2. Lynn July 6, 2017 at 2:22 pm #

    As a previous student of Sister Elizabeth as well as her next door neighbor on Du Bois Avenue, She was one of a kind. My memories bring me to the classroom. We had to have a notebook for in school and then re wrote the notes from the day (especially science) in our notebooks at home. Felt like punishment, but for sure we were learning more and more in the years with Sister Elizabeth as our teacher. I can still recite the Element Table (with abbreviations) as well as Diagram and show the parts to a plant. Both female and male….That was because of Sister Elizabeth…..I am sure I am not alone in some of these memories….What are yours? RIP Sister Raymond aka Sister Elizabeth. Your teachings live on….. Lynn Phillips ~ MHT – 1979 –

  3. Sterina (Molle) Miele July 6, 2017 at 2:54 pm #

    I was not only fortunate to have had Sr Elizabeth as a teacher but she was still principal at Holy Trinity when I sent my children there ! She was a dedicated caring person whose love of teaching carried her students throughout grammar school, high school and more than likely college ! You had no choice but to learn when in her class , she would not accept anything less !

  4. CHRISTINE BYRON COKELEY July 7, 2017 at 12:43 pm #

    She was an unbelievable educator and just a beautiful person. firm, but gentle and with a great sense of humor. My mother and she had a close relationship and my mom considered her a friend. She was truly the best teacher i ever had and she taught us so much more than Scholastics… she taught us how to be caring human beings. my prayers to her family for i’m sure she will be missed just as sure as she will be up above and looking out for each of us. She truly changed and guided an immeasurable amount of lives and souls. God Bless her

Leave a Reply