Services Set for Sister Mary Felix McKenna, 89

Prayer services scheduled for Sunday. Funeral Mass and burial take place Monday.

Services have been set for Sister Mary Felix McKenna, who served her community for 75 years as a Catholic nun. 

The Reception of the Body prayer service is scheduled for Sunday, Aug. 5 at 4 p.m. in the Mother House Chapel in Graymoor in Garrison. The Evening Prayer-Wake Service will begin at 7 p.m., according to her obituary on LoHud.com.

Sister Mary Felix's Funeral Mass is at the Mother House Chapel on Monday, Aug. 6 at 11 a.m. She will be buried in the Sisters' Cemetery at Graymoor. Dorsey-Carlone Funeral Home in Peekskill is handling arrangements. 

Community members remembered Sister Mary Felix for her dedication to the church. Msgr. Ansbro of the Church of the Assumption in Peekskill knew Sister Mary Felix for decades and believes she is a candidate for canonization. 

"She was so given to God and God's people and whatever the problem may be," Msgn. Ansbro said. "She really put the time in for God and God's people. She really was the real thing. Anybody who met her or had dealings with her would not give up the practice of religion because she was just so filled with God. A person just couldn’t be without that spirit."

Sister Mary Felix received her calling at age 13, when she was living in Ireland and considering attending a private school. Instead, she joined a convent and and came to the United States 13 years later in 1949, when she took her final vows at Mother House in Graymoor in Garrison.

In the 1970s she moved on to St. Cecilia’s parish in East Harlem and she later returned to Graymoor, where she was devoted to visiting the sick at the Hudson Valley Hospital Center and at nursing homes and senior care facilities in the area, according to Catholic New York.

Jack Murphy, Chairman of the Peekskill St. Patrick’s Parade, for which Sister Mary Felix served as the fourth Grand Marshal in 1993, remembers stories about Sister Mary Felix at the hospital.

“She would be at the hospital until late in the evening with no way of getting home. So he would just sit in the hallway and sooner or later a nurse would get off a shift and offer a ride and she’d say ‘I knew God would take care of me,’” Murphy said.

Sister Mary Felix was also known for her commitment to religious education in public schools, which she promoted through the staging of plays, among other activities.

She was also an early adopter of glass recycling, working with local teacher Alan Levy to create a Glass Recycling Center and raise money to support the cause. The Ambulance Corps, Meals on Wheels, The Paramount Theater for The Performing Arts, and several other organizations received funding to recycle glass as a result of Sister Mary Felix's efforts. She was even named “Citizen of the Year” once.

“She was absolutely selfless,” said Murphy. “She was a wonderful lady, a classic Irish nun. She had a great faith that God would always take care of her.”  

Sister Mary Felix was born in Manorhamilton, County Leitrim, Ireland on March 16, 1923.  She died peacefully at the residence of St. Francis Convent at Graymoor on Aug. 2, 2012.

John H Donohue August 05, 2012 at 12:24 PM
I have known Sister Mary Felix for more than 50 years and her relatives from Seaman Avenue in the Bronx who she visited often when she arrived here from the land of the Shamrock. . Mollie Kelly and her NYPD husband had five sons in the Marist order and a wonderful daughter named Marie who married a guy named Michael Kelly who had both parents with the same names as Mollie and her husband so that was a great wedding party.. Frank Kelly left the Marist order and was a NYS Trooper and Edward Kelly left and was a NYC officer. Sister Felix and her clan gave so much to their communities and so much to our catholic community as well as the whole world they lived in so I believe she will be on the fast track to her heavenly reward.. Heaven will really see the Irish glowing and the singing and dancing that all the Kelly Clan did so well when Sister Felix gets back with the clan for certain..
Diane Schull August 31, 2012 at 12:04 AM
I remember Sr Felix fondly as a little girl at Blessed Sacrament in Hamden, Connecticut. She directed the most lovely Christmas and May Crowning pageants and was pivotal in my Catholic education. I will always remember her waiting for me at Kennedy airport during my flights through NY and her visit to Dallas,Texas. Embrace eternal life my dear Sr. Felix. Dr. Diane Schull Dallas, Texas


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