Sister Caritas Marshall, CSJ, 79, died Wednesday, September 22, 2021, in the 63rd year of her religious life as a Sister of St. Joseph. The daughter of Ralph and Anna Downey Marshall, Sister Caritas entered the Congregation from Our Mother of Sorrows in Johnstown, PA.
During her 27-year education ministry, Sister Caritas said she especially enjoyed teaching at Mount Gallitzin Academy in Baden (1968-77) where she described the environment as “innovative, energizing and creative.” She also served as Religious Education Coordinator for the Diocese of Greensburg (1980-81), Principal of St. Mary in Kittanning (1982-1987), and teacher at St. Titus in Aliquippa (1987-91).
When her parents were very ill, Sister Caritas said she was grateful for the presence and comfort of a Catholic sister who served as a hospital chaplain. That deeply personal experience inspired Sister Caritas to begin training in Clinical Pastoral Education at Loretto Heights College in Denver, CO. In 1991, she became Coordinator/Catholic Chaplain at UPMC Passavant Hospital where she offered her prayers and presence to patients and their families until 2016. A network of 10 churches relied on Sister Caritas to provide chaplaincy services to their parishioners, and she did so “with great gusto, authority and loving spirituality,” according to a 2014 tribute to her in the St. Sebastian bulletin. Sister Caritas subsequently provided outreach to elderly parishioners at St. John Neumann in Franklin Park.
Remembered as reliable, kind and compassionate, Sister Caritas said, in a Jubilee reflection, that the Congregation’s charism of unity and reconciliation was evident in her daily ministry where sickness and death often strengthen faith. “Sometimes I just need to be present, to listen and to pray silently with patients and their families,” she recalled.
Sister Caritas is survived by her sister, Mary Colleen Sumner, Deerfield Beach, FL, cousins in Johnstown and Ireland, a niece and nephews, a grandnephew and grandnieces, and her dear friend, Zita Como, the Associates, and the Sisters of St. Joseph. The Sisters are grateful to the staff of Concordia at Villa St. Joseph and the Supportive Living staff at the Motherhouse for their care of Sister Caritas.
Friends will be received Sunday, September 26, from 1 p.m. to at the close of the Prayer Vigil, which begins at 6 p.m., and Monday, September 27, from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at the Motherhouse of the Sisters of St. Joseph. Mass of Christian Burial will be offered Monday, September 27, at 3 p.m. in the Motherhouse Chapel. Burial will follow in the Sisters’ Cemetery on the Motherhouse grounds.
Donations in the name of Sister Caritas may be sent to the Sisters of St. Joseph Memorial Fund, Development Office, 1020 State St., Baden, PA, 15005.