Cover photo for Sr. Maureen Coyle's Obituary
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1941 Sr. Maureen 2024

Sr. Maureen Coyle

January 24, 1941 — January 22, 2024

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Sister Maureen Coyle

January 24, 1941 – January 22, 2024

Maureen (Mary Josephine) Coyle was born January 24, 1941 in Derry City, Northern Ireland. The following section was written by two of her sisters and two of her brothers who have been with her during her final days.

“Maureen was the third child in a family of 10, 6 boys and 4 girls. As she was a sickly child, her parents (John and Margaret Mary Sweeney) feared for her health and thought further education would be too stressful. Maureen started working in her uncle’s grocery shop when she was 14 years old.

From the time she was a young child, Maureen always wanted to be a nun, so she saved as much money as she could to fund her entry into the Franciscans.

She always had a great love for her family and we loved her dearly. She enjoyed coming home for holidays and spending time with all of us, especially her nieces and nephews. Our family will miss her greatly.”

Maureen’s wish was realized when she entered our community in 1958, made her first profession of vows in 1961 and her final profession in 1966. In 1961 she also began her missionary journey as a primary teacher in the United States and spent the next several years teaching in East Boston, MA; Rockford, IL; Brainerd, MN; Syracuse, NY; Milton, MA; and Augusta, GA. In 1982 she attended the Mexican American Institute in Texas in preparation for ministry in Bolivia.

From 1983 to 1989 Maureen ministered in parish and pastoral work in Coroico, Bolivia. She began by going to rural areas to teach in the adult literacy program for Aymaran speaking women. Maureen was known for her exceptional musical talents and taught guitar and formed choirs and music groups with catechists in the rural communities and in the town of Coroico. She was also responsible for the liturgical celebrations in the Cathedral and was asked by the Bishp to sing the Exultet on Holy Saturday. Maureen also taught theology at the Guerrilleros Lanza High School in Coroico and San Francisco Javier High School in Carmen Pampa.

In 1989 she was asked to go to Bello Horizonte, Piura, Peru to continue pastoral work there and to be involved in the Formation of new community members. In 1992-93 Maureen had a Sabbatical/Spiritual year to concentrate on Christian and Franciscan Studies. In 1993 she went to Consuela de Velasco, Piura, Peru to continue Formation and Pastoral ministry and in 1995 she attended a program in Lima for further preparation in Formation, working with new community members. Maureen was Director of Initial Formation of Candidates and Postulants for our community, and participated in the Interreligious Community Conference of Formation in Piura, Peru. She served in leadership positions within the Latin American Circle and was responsible for the excellent newsletter she prepared for the Our Lady of Gaudalupe Circle of Latin America. She founded, secured funds, and oversaw the construction of Shekinah, a health and wellness center. Here volunteers, using natural methods of healing, could treat the poor using Reflexology, Reiki, massage therapy and with lectures on health, exercises and counseling. Maureen’s tireless energy and generosity ministering to, and with the poor, knew no bounds. She also educated others of the issues of human trafficking and could be seen travelling all over Piura on her yellow scooter!

Maureen’s health began to fail in 2017 and she came to Tenafly for medical attention and eventually to retire. During this time, she continued to be a vital part of the community here, especially through her constant prayer. She was a wonderful example to us in her acceptance of her reality and the latest invitation that God had given her. The past few weeks of her life brought more challenges and she entered Hospice Care, here in our convent on January 16th. Her brothers, sisters, sister-in-law and nephews as well as the Sisters, were with her in her final days.

Thank you, dear Maureen, for all that you have given to all of us.

With love,

All of your Missionary Franciscan Sisters

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Service Schedule

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Funeral Mass

Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)


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Wednesday, January 24, 2024

Starts at 12:30 pm (Eastern time)

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