In Memoriam: Sister Mary M. Kilmartin, SC

Those who crossed paths with Sister Mary Kilmartin may count themselves as very fortunate indeed. She sought excellence in education and taught her students to do the same.

Sister Mary Kilmartin (Sister Grace Michael) was born November 15, 1932 in Bronx, New York, one of two daughters of Michael and Alice McKnight Kilmartin. Mary attended Saint Gregory the Great School and Cathedral High School in Manhattan before entering the Sisters of Charity of New York on September 8, 1950. Sister Grace Michael earned a BA in Spanish from the College of Mount Saint Vincent and an MA in Spanish from Catholic University of America in Washington, D.C.

Sister Mary’s ministry in education spanned fifty-six years and took her from elementary grades through high school to the highest levels of school administration. She taught at Saint Denis School, Yonkers, and Saint Athanasius School, Bronx. She was then missioned to Blessed Sacrament HS, Manhattan, where she taught Spanish and English. Sister was then transferred to Resurrection Academy, Rye, where she taught Spanish. In 1967, Sister Mary returned to her alma mater and thus began her thirty-two years of service at Cathedral High School. She first was a teacher of Spanish, then became Dean of Students, Academic Dean, and then Principal. Sister Mary held this position from 1983 until 1999. Her next challenge was as Associate Superintendent of Schools for the Archdiocese of New York.

In 2004, when she was awarded the Elizabeth Ann Seton Compassionate Educator Award, it was said, “She’s the quietest behind-the-scenes troubleshooter in creation! Problems with parents, with principals, with faculty—Sister Mary’s been through them all … and with her colleague, supporter and friend, Sister Eileen Regina Leonard, Sister Mary has moderated the Glee Club, Drama Club, the Chorus, the Band and educational trips to every part of Europe.” Sister Eileen Regina and she also found time to teach adult education Spanish classes in the evening at Our Lady of the Angelus Parish in Rego Park, Queens. In 2011, Sister Mary retired and moved to Mount Saint Vincent Convent.

Those who crossed paths with Sister Mary Kilmartin may count themselves as very fortunate indeed. She sought excellence in education and taught her students to do the same. Her kindness, compassion, sense of humor, and openness to all were but a few of her many gifts. She loved life and education and was a wonderful friend and community-minded person.

As a Sister of Charity Sister Mary lived the virtues of humility, simplicity, and charity throughout her life. She now enters her eternal promise, welcomed by her family, friends, the Sisters of Charity who have gone before her, and our loving God whom she served so long and so well. Rest in peace, Sister Mary.





Date of Death
May 29, 2016


Mount Saint Vincent Convent Assembly Room
6301 Riverdale Ave., Bronx, NY 10471
Thursday, June 2, 2016
2:00 – 6:30 p.m.
Prayer Service at 4:30 p.m.

Mass of Resurrection
Mount Saint Vincent Convent Assembly Room
Friday, June 3, 2016
10:30 a.m.

St. Joseph Cemetery
Yonkers, NY



Archdiocese of New York

  • St. Denis, Bronx
    1953–1959, Teacher, Gr. 5, 7–8
  • St. Athanasius, Bronx
    1959–1960, Teacher, Gr. 8
  • Blessed Sacrament HS, Manhattan
    1960–1963, Teacher
  • Academy of Resurrection, Rye
    1963–1967, Teacher
  • Cathedral High School
    1967–1974, Teacher
    1974–1982, Dean of Students
    1982–1983, Dean of Studies
    1983–1999, Principal/Administrator
  • Archdiocese of New York
    1999–2009, Assoc. Superintendent of Schools

Diocese of Brooklyn

  • Our Lady of the Angelus Parish, Rego Park, Queens
    2009–2011, ESL Volunteer

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23 Responses to In Memoriam: Sister Mary M. Kilmartin, SC

  1. Marilyn M. Hank June 1, 2016 at 11:28 am #

    I am so saddened to read this. Sister Kilmartin was so a part of my life as a student At Cathedral. She and Sister Eileen Regina were insurmountable in giving me the Guidance to get to where I got. I very Proudly went on to Graduate from Saint Vincent’s Hospital School of Nursing NYC matter of fact 43 years ago today. I am a product of the Sisters of Charity and am so Grateful and Proud. I am so thankful that Women such as these Nuns and the Nuns at SVH etc. helped shape my life with dignity and respect. Sister may you be sitting at God’s Hands and Basking in all the glory that Heavens has.
    Marilyn Hank
    Cathedra High Schooll Class of 1970
    Saint Vincent’s School of Nursing NYC 1973

  2. Elizabeth Prado June 1, 2016 at 11:34 am #

    I remember her well, Sr. Mary Kilmartin was my Spanish teacher, although I already spoke Castellano, she taught me to perfect it!!
    She was a kind mentor, understanding, ready to listen, giving but asking you to do your best which will lead to excellence!! Thank you Sr, Mary Kilmartin for all you have given to the girls of Cathedral High!! Elizabeth Prado Class of 1976

  3. Raquel Nin-Taveras June 1, 2016 at 12:29 pm #

    She was always the quiet force that kept the school running. My most vivid memories of my cathedral days always included her and sister Eileen.
    Raquel Nin-Taveras class of 1991

  4. Sunny Lipko June 1, 2016 at 3:05 pm #

    She was the dean my last year at Cathedral and she understood so well the need for creative expression. She showed Christ’s love to the girls and was fair to everyone. RIP.

  5. Grace June 1, 2016 at 3:56 pm #

    I am so sad to hear this but I am glad that she’s home with the Lord. May her souls rest in perfect peace.

  6. Catherine Leon June 1, 2016 at 4:52 pm #

    My sentiments to Sr Mary Kilmartin’s family and friends. Sr was a wonderful being. During the years I attended Cathedral High School, Sr Kilmartin gave a strong sense of dignity. She showed us all how to become empowered and well respected ladies in society. Her belief in God helped her achieve many things in life as well as becoming one of our greatest mentors. She will forever hold a spot in our hearts.

    Class of ’94 – Cathedral High School

  7. AnnKatrin Popp June 1, 2016 at 6:26 pm #

    I was very fortunate to have known Sr. Kilmartin. She made me the strong woman I am today. I have never forgotten her words of encouragement . She will be missed. My prayers and thoughts are with her family and the Sisters of Charity.

    Class of ’86

  8. Shirley Cox June 1, 2016 at 6:31 pm #

    One of the greatest mentors, teachers and role models I know. Today, I follow many of my values because of this great woman. She made me aware of all the goals a true lady could reach with hard work!

    May she rest in peace.

    Love an eternal Cathedralite. 1980-1984.

  9. Pascale Glenn June 1, 2016 at 7:14 pm #

    Sister Kilmartin was my first Spanish teacher. She laid the foundation which allows me to speak Spanish fluently today. She taught me the importance of perseverence. Her lessons have served me well in my life and career. I am saddened to hear of her passing. I will forever be grateful for the many ways she has touched my life.

  10. Gladys Laureano June 1, 2016 at 8:46 pm #

    Sr Kilmartin was my Spanish teacher and mentor…she will truly be missed! RIP…Class of ’73

  11. Jean Jakuboski June 2, 2016 at 2:04 am #

    As a very blessed student of Cathedral, I’d like to just give my condolences to the family and loved ones of Sr Kilmartin. She was a wonderful, dedicated, and inspiring teacher, and we are all the better for having had her in our studies. God bless her ever so richly, as she has blessed so many in her ministry here on earth.

  12. Janeen Hopkins Gallo June 2, 2016 at 9:02 am #

    As an alum of Cathedral High School, I am honored to say that Sr. Mary Kilmartin was indeed an inspiration to me. May God bless her and her family. I’m deeply saddened to hear of her passing. I am thankful that she was able to touch my life along with many others throughout the years.

    Class of ’83

  13. Marilyn Gonzalez-Veladquez June 2, 2016 at 9:07 am #

    May she rest In eternal peace. She was an inspiration in my life. Giving me guidance and a multitude of great memories. I was blessed to be a part of a study abroad in Spain. Thank you for giving so much to all your students.

  14. Isabel Pantoja June 2, 2016 at 10:06 am #

    I was very sad to hear of her passing. She was an excellent teacher, most importantly she was a Great person. She cared, attentive. SR KILMARTIN gave us Cyrano to read. I fell in Love with reading on that Day. I loved u then & Love u still. S.I.P. MY FRIEND TILL WE MEET AGAIN.

  15. O,Brien family (Maureen O,BRien Griffin) June 3, 2016 at 11:54 am #

    I am very sorry for the loss of my cousin Sister Mary Kilmartin. Growing up as children together we always knew Mary would be destined to enter the convent. She was always a kind quiet caring person. May she rest in peace with all of our loved ones.

    • Webmaster June 3, 2016 at 1:30 pm #

      Please accept our condolences for the loss of your cousin Sr. Mary. We all loved her dearly and miss her already, as we are sure you do as well. Please stay in touch. Blessing to the O’Brien Family.

  16. Patricia como June 17, 2016 at 12:53 am #

    Such sad news i went to cathedral only one year my freshman year and i remember sister kilmartin , my deepest condolences

  17. Patricia como June 17, 2016 at 12:55 am #

    My deepest condolences

  18. Patricia como June 17, 2016 at 12:59 am #

    My deepest condolences we will always remember her as a gift from god

  19. Dan murray June 20, 2016 at 8:35 pm #

    Sister Mary taught me in 5th and 7th grade at st Denis, yonkers. She was sister grace Michael then. We were her fist class. It was wonderful to have a young teacher in those days. Later i ran into sister at catholic university in.washington ,dc. She was studying. For her masters and i was getting my bachelors. . I pursued a career in. Education. I am sure sister was partly responsible. About 10 years ago. I contacted her at the. Rego park address. We continued to exchange Christmas cards and an occasional phone call. She enjoyed chatting about trips to. Ireland and her early assignment at st. Denis. God bless you sister. Condolences to your family and sisters’ community.

  20. Nereida Lugo June 29, 2016 at 2:25 pm #

    I am just learning of this sad news. Sister Kilmartin was my Spanish teacher. Her kindness, strength and her genuine presence will be missed. I am grateful for all she taught me and the girls’ lives she touched at Cathedral High School.
    My condolences to the family and my prayers.
    Rest in peace sweet angel….
    Class of 1979

  21. Tijuana grace jones August 30, 2016 at 12:08 am #

    I am very saddened for the passing of Sr. Mary Kilmartin. She was an excellent teacher
    and disciplinarian to her students. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the esteemed
    Opportunity to be one of her pupils at cathedral high school. I know that her soul
    Went to glory with Jesus,our lord and saviour

    Class of 83 Mrs.Tijuana Grace Jones

  22. Sonya Patten December 8, 2016 at 1:54 am #

    Oh my. I’m soooooo sorry to hear that. Sister Mary Kilmartin was influential in my 4 yrs at Cathedral. Gave me that extra “Push,” which I grew to appreciate during my senior year; Class of ’82.

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