Sister Ruth McCarthy, who was a Sister of the Holy Child Jesus for 62 years, died Friday, Sept. 16 in Haverford. She was 92.
Sister Ruth dedicated her life to serving her congregation, her family, friends and students with unlimited energy and compassion. Joanne Sullivan, S.H.C.J., said her friend “never turned a person down. She had the capacity to lend a helping hand wherever needed.”
Following high school graduation, Sister Ruth earned a certificate in science from Rutgers University and then began working for pharmaceutical companies. In 1951, after six years in the workforce, she entered the Society of the Holy Child Jesus. She made her final vows in 1959 and became well known by her religious name Mother Louis Mary.
Sister Ruth’s teaching ministry in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia spanned 36 years. Her first ministry extended for 12 years at Holy Spirit School in Sharon Hill as a teacher and a principal.
She then spent one year teaching religion at John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls’ High School before going to Archbishop John Carroll High School. She joyfully taught there for 23 years – even organizing and enjoying ski trips with the students. For 19 of these years, she was a resident assistant at Rosemont College.
In 1990, Sister Ruth returned to her home state of New Jersey and opened a new Holy Child community at Cape May Court House. While living there she taught, first as a part-time teacher at Sacred Heart School in Vineland and later as a substitute teacher in Wildwood Catholic High School. For 25 years, Sister Ruth managed the sisters’ residences in Sea Isle City, Stone Harbor and Cape May Courthouse.
Officially retired in 2007, Sister Ruth returned to the Philadelphia area and generously shared her time making mission appeals and serving the needs of Sisters at Holy Child Center in Rosemont. She always provided good conversation and readily drove the sisters to various appointments and meetings.
A natural athlete, she is most likely the only Holy Child Sister who skied into her 70s.
Sister Ruth maintained life-long relationships with many people, including her former students at Archbishop Carroll and Holy Spirit School. For decades, she and the Holy Spirit alums gathered every year to celebrate their friendship.
Sister Ruth earned an undergraduate and graduate degree in education from Villanova University in 1958 and 1964, respectively. In 1968, she earned a second master’s degree in religious education from La Salle University.
She was the loving daughter of the late Florance James and Regina (nee Pilger) McCarthy. She was predeceased by her parents and siblings Robert and Eleanor. She is survived by a sister-in-law, Blanch; two nephews, Robert and James; and one niece, Kathleen.
Her funeral Mass will be celebrated Friday, Sept. 23 at 11 a.m. at New Sharon Chapel, 1341 Montgomery Avenue, Rosemont. Preceding Mass, friends and family are welcome to attend the viewing at 10 a.m.
Join the CatholicPhilly.com family
CatholicPhilly.com works to strengthen the connections between people, families and communities every day by delivering the news people need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live.
By your donation in any amount, you and hundreds of other people become part of our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month.
Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Won't you consider making a gift today?
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can ― a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community and sustain CatholicPhilly.com as your trusted news source. Thank you in advance!
Make your donation by credit card here:
Or make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103