Sister M. Joseph Catherine De Lourdes O.Carm. passed away unexpectedly at Ozanam Hall on the morning of January 5, 2021 in the 64th year of her religious life. At the time of her death, Sr. Joseph was serving as the Chief Executive Officer of Ozanam Hall in Bayside, NY.
Catherine Cecilia Raymond was born on December 6, 1939 in New York City to Joseph and Catherine (nee Coughlin) Raymond. Having entered the Congregation on September 7, 1957 at the age of 17, Sr. Joseph received the habit on March 2, 1958, professed first vows on April 20, 1960, and made perpetual profession on March 28, 1965. She generously served the elderly in the Homes she was assigned to in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Michigan and New York.
In addition to graduating from nursing school, Sr. Joseph earned a B.A. Degree in Psychology and Social Services and a Masters in Gerontological Counseling. She was also a licensed nursing home administrator. In 1986 she was appointed the administrator of Ozanam Hall, and later served as CEO. Sr. Joseph was elected to the General Council at the Congregation's General Chapter (1990) and elected Vicar General at the 10th General Chapter (1996). In 1999, she undertook the challenge of starting the Carmelite System for the Aged and Infirm, and laid a strong foundation for the Carmelite System's later growth. Sr. Joseph had a beautiful singing voice, loved camping and fishing, and also had a fondness for hats and pockets! Although she would never have sought recognition for herself, Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio of the Diocese of Brooklyn submitted Sr. Joseph's name to receive the Benemerenti Medal, and Pope Francis selected her to receive these Papal Honors which were awarded on September 19, 2020 for her long time service to the People of God of the Diocese of Brooklyn. The Lord called Sr. Joseph from her youth to follow Him and blessed her with a strong faith, a brilliant mind, strong determination, a quick wit, and a loving heart. We owe her a debt of gratitude for all she has been to our Congregation, and above all we give thanks and praise to God for the life of our beloved Sister in Carmel, Sr. M. Joseph Catherine De Lourdes.