Margaret Teresa Barry, born on September 13,1929 in Lissleton, Co. Kerry, Ireland, was the third child of Michael and Bridget Barry. Margaret had two sisters: Elizabeth and Mary Ann, and two Brothers: Michael and Patrick. She was educated in the Presentation elementary and secondary schools in Lisselton. When she was 16, Margaret first heard about the Sisters of St. Joseph of Peace from a local resident, Kate Quinlan. Kate's two sisters: Sr. Philomena Mary and Sr. Eileen were members of the Community. In April, 1945, Margaret became an aspirant with the Sisters in Cabra, County Down, Northern Ireland. She was accepted as a postulant in the United States on August 2,1946 to St. Michael Novitiate in Englewood Cliffs, NJ. On February 2, 1947, Margaret received the religious habit and was given the name Sister Mary Margaret Rose. Her novitiate training continued for two years and on February 2,1949, Sr. Margaret Rose pronounced her First Vows.
Following her First Profession, from 1949 to 1982, Sr. Margaret Rose was assigned to teach or serve as principal in parochial schools and the School for the Blind in New Jersey, and as teacher and coordinator of parish religious education programs. In 1982, Sr. Margaret's ministry centered on the needs of the poor. She then decided to omit Rose from her name. For five years, she was a Child Advocate at the Mt Carmel Guild in Trenton, NJ. Sr. Margaret then went on to serve homeless women and children at The York Street Project in Jersey City, NJ. Sr Margaret accepted responsibility to prepare herself by study or by development of the skills needed for each ministry. She acquired a BS in Education, an MA in Religious Education, Certificates to teach the blind and special education students. At age 65, Sr. Margaret volunteered her service as a Literacy Volunteer and a teacher of English as a second language. She served the elderly as a pastoral associate at the Cusack Care Center until she retired to St. Michael's Villa in 2009. Sr. Margaret was warmly welcomed to each ministry she was assigned. One letter of recommendation stated, "Sr. Margaret is a joyous person, a woman of deep Faith and prayer and always enjoys a good rapport with other people."
In 2014, Sr. Margaret was diagnosed with Parkinson's Disease. She died on November 29, 2016 at age 89. Her funeral Mass was offered at St. Michael's Villa by Fr. James McDonald. Sr. Margaret was buried in Holy Cross Cemetery, North Arlington, NJ. She was survived by her brothers and sisters in Ireland: Michael, Patrick, Elizabeth Ferris and Mary Anne De Sousa .
"We are consciously choosing to shape the future rather than allowing the future to shape us."
Sheila Lemieux, CSJP