Sister Mary Kay (Mary Bernadette) Hammond, CSJ, 90, died Sunday, December 24, 2023, in the 67th year of her religious life. The daughter of Harry T. and Anastasia Wey Hammond, Sister Mary Kay entered the Congregation in 1957 from Holy Name Parish in Columbus, OH.
Sister Mary Kay ministered as a teacher and administrator for 23 years at schools in Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Florida. Her early years in the classroom included St. Matthew in Gahanna, OH (1963-66), and Transfiguration in Monongahela (1967-70) before serving as principal at St. Peter in Somerset (1972-81).
Sister Mary Kay became known for her “child-oriented” education philosophy built on a faith community that cares for one another. During her tenure at St. Peter, she implemented a new grading system to better support students’ progress and led the Somerset County Elementary Principals’ Association.
A self-described “people-person,” Sister Mary Kay saw the love of Jesus reflected in the faces of those she worked with in education and beyond. In 1983, she moved into social work with Allegheny County Youth Services before transitioning to health care. As patient relations coordinator at Jefferson Center of the South Hills Health System (1986-92), she offered comfort and logistical support to families experiencing medical crises.
Sister Mary Kay was a compassionate presence to the sick and dying and their grieving families for 17 years as staff chaplain and patient relations coordinator at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital and Montefiore Hospital. She described the experience of working with transplant patients and their families as “one of the many blessings of my vocation.” One of Sister Mary Kay’s favorite ministries was providing love to our littlest ‘dear neighbors’ as a volunteer baby cuddler at West Penn Hospital (2010-17).
“In bringing hope and love to others in need, I am grateful for God’s hand in my ministry,” she wrote when reflecting on her vocation. “Being of service enables me to continue to grow in my love of God and others.”
Predeceased by two brothers and two sisters. Sister Mary Kay is survived by nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews, Associates, and the Sisters of St. Joseph of Baden. The Sisters are grateful to the Supportive Living staff at the Motherhouse for their care of Sister Mary Kay.
Services for Sister Mary Kay
Friends will be received Tuesday, January 2, from 1 p.m. to the close of the Prayer Vigil, which begins at 6 p.m., and Wednesday, January 3, from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. in Medaille Hall at the Motherhouse of the Sisters of St. Joseph. Get directions to the Motherhouse.
Mass of Christian Burial will be offered on Wednesday, January 3, at 3 p.m. in the Motherhouse Chapel.
Donations in the name of Sister Mary Kay may be sent to the Sisters of St. Joseph Memorial Fund, Development Office, 1020 State St., Baden, PA, 15005. Make an online donation in memory of Sister Mary Kay.