Remembering Sister Ann Marie Connolly (1934-2023)

"I am with you always."

-Matthew 28:30

Ann Marie Connolly, SNDdeN was the eldest of five children born in Boston to John and Mary (Flaherty) Connolly. Both were immigrants from Ireland and were very traditional Catholics. The family prayed together daily while kneeling on the kitchen floor and the children often heard their parents say, “with the help of God.” The children all attended Catholic schools.

Ann Marie, who was called “the boss” by her three sisters and brother, always wanted to be a Sister. “I loved my third-grade teacher and told her I wanted to be a nun just like her,” she recalled. “I then went to a Notre Dame high school and fell in love with Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur.” She entered the Congregation in 1952, taking the name Sister Louise St. John.

Sister Ann Marie taught many grades, but her main focus was junior high school math. She loved teaching and was happy everywhere she was missioned, including Peabody, Worcester and Lawrence, Massachusetts. A former colleague contacted the Sisters with a message about Sister Ann Marie saying, “I so often remember you and the amazing gift you gave me by hiring me as a kindergarten teacher at Our Lady's in Waltham. I had a tough start which developed into a wonderful, exciting career in Catholic education. Thank you so much for having faith in me and giving me that chance.”

Sister Anne Marie had a keen sense of humor and enjoyed being with her friends. She was known to say, “I just love people,” and she was happy living in community “sharing life with other Sisters, sharing ideas and helping each other when we are down.” As Sister Catherine Griffiths said of her “Ann Marie has always been a faithful friend and fun to be with.”

True to her math teaching roots, in her retirement she loved playing Triominos with her friends in the evenings. Her hobbies included sewing, crocheting, embroidering and knitting; she was generally talented in everything she put her hand to.

Sister Ann Marie had a great love for her family. The younger generations knew her as Auntie Ann and loved when she was around. When each new family member was born, they received something crocheted by her, treasuring anything she created. At the time of her 70th Jubilee, Sister Ann Marie recalled feeling blessed by her vocation and by her happiness and joy.

Sister Ann Marie Connolly went home to her good God on December 23, 2023 at 89 years and 71 years as a Sister of Notre Dame de Namur.