SISTER MARY JOSEPH McELHINNY, SC, age 90, died at Caritas Christi, the motherhouse of the Sisters of Charity of Seton Hill in Greensburg, on Wednesday, May 27, 2020.
Born in Pittsburgh, Sister Mary Joseph entered the congregation of the Sisters of Charity on September 8, 1950, from Saint Philip Parish, Linesville, PA. Preceded in death by her parents, Edward J. and Mary G. (Murphy) McElhenny, a brother, Michael D., a sister, Mrs. James (Johanna M.) Doran, two maternal aunts, Sisters Miriam Joseph Murphy, SC and Mary Peter Murphy, SC and a cousin, Sister Christine Marie McElhinny, she is survived by two brothers: Joseph K., and Edward V. and six sisters: Sister Mary Gertrude, SC, Mrs. James (Mary Jo) Stratton, Mrs. Ralph J. (Judith M.) Redfern, Mrs. John G. (Elizabeth Ann) Ceremuga, Mrs. Lawrence E. (Monica N.) Addison, nieces, nephews and a cousin, Sister Vivien Linkhauer, SC.
She earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Seton Hill University and a master’s degree in administration from Arizona State University. Sister Mary Joseph taught students of the intermediate, junior and senior high school levels in schools of the dioceses of Phoenix and Pittsburgh. From 1965 until 1971, she was principal of Our Lady of Perpetual Help School in Scottsdale, Arizona, and was then appointed principal of Resurrection School, Brookline, Pennsylvania, from 1971 until 1976, when she was named supervisor of schools administered by the Sisters of Charity, a position she held until 1978. In 1978, she was assigned ministry at Saint Kieran School, Lawrenceville where she remained until 1986, when she taught students at Seton-LaSalle High School until 1987. From 1987, until her retirement in 2002, Sister Mary Joseph served as the executive director of Elizabeth Seton Senior Center in Brookline. In reflecting on her life as a Sister of Charity, Sister Mary Joseph once said, “My years as a Sister of Charity have been challenging and rewarding. I am immensely grateful to all those who have been so helpful to me all my life.”