Sister Rose Casey

"Time – O Lord, how swiftly it seems to fly.
Thank you for reminding me that there is time enough for what You have planned for my life."

The above favorite quote was offered by Sister Rose Casey. And to quote herself, “It’s hard to believe that it has been 60 years, with very positive memories!” Rose Casey speaks from her home in Durham, N.C., acknowledging that the past 35 years in Durham have been wonderful, where her parish and her friends value and respect her in ways that make her happy.

Rose started her life in Sacred Heart Parish in South Philadelphia, one of four children–one of whom the family eventually adopted– where aunts and uncles, cousins, priests and sisters often gathered at their table. Her parents were welcoming and well connected in the Catholic community. “Our house was always filled with nuns and priests. It was wonderful!” Rose and her sister, Margaret, were identical twins, which was a “great, good fortune,” up until the time, eight years ago, when Margaret was sick and Rose was there to accompany her through her dying. Frances, the eldest Casey sister, attended Rittenhouse Square School, and Rose met the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur there, while attending events such as the May processions. While a student at St. Maria Goretti High School, she spoke with her Biology teacher, Sister Therese of the Sacred Heart, about entering a religious community. The simplicity and humility of that Sister drew Rose to explore the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur to answer her vocational call. She entered at Ilchester, Md., in August, 1961, following graduation from high school.

Across these many years, two ministries that stand out as being wonderful were teaching at St. Joachim and Ann School in Queens, N.Y., and later at St. Mary Interparochial School in Philadelphia, near her parents’ home. At the interparochial school, students came from various parishes, and social backgrounds–from poor to wealthy 'society hill' kids—Rose walked with them to museums and historical sites and it was fabulous.

Some 35 years ago, the Bishop of Durham, N.C. called for Sisters to come and work in a program for migrant workers, and many SNDdeN responded. Rose made herself useful in various ministries; an administrative position at Duke University lasted over 20 years. At the time of her Jubilee year in 2021, Sister Rose was contemplating the meaning of 60 years as a Sister of Notre Dame de Namur during a pandemic. She spoke about the fear of this year when so much was unknown. Then, she expressed hopefulness and a sense of safety now, with vaccines available. “There is time enough…”

Sister Rose's Ministries

1966-69 Saints Joachim & Anne School, Queens Village, N.Y.
1969-76 St. Anthony School, Florence, S.C.
1976-78 St. Mary Interparochial School, Philadelphia, Pa.
1978-80 SNDdeN, Maryland Province, Baltimore, Md.
1980-85 John Paul Regional School, Baltimore, Md.
1985-86 Duke University School of Nursing, Durham, N.C.
1986-87 Johns Hopkins School of Public Health, Baltimore, Md.
1987-92 Duke University School of Nursing, Durham, N.C.
1992-96 Duke University Department of Pathology, Durham, N.C.
1996-2013 Duke University Community Family Medicine, Durham, N.C.

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