Obituary: Benedictine Sister Carmen (Mary) Mulcahy

Benedictine Sister Carmen (Mary) Mulcahy, 95, died Jan. 31 at Mother of Mercy Senior Living, Albany. The Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 5, at Sacred Heart Chapel, St. Benedict’s Monastery, St. Joseph, with burial in the monastery cemetery.

Friends may call at St. Scholastica Convent, St. Cloud, on Tuesday, Feb. 4, for a prayer service at 1 p.m., followed by visitation until 4:15 p.m., or for a vigil prayer Service at 7 p.m. at St. Benedict’s Monastery. Visitation continues at 9 a.m. until the time of the funeral on Feb. 5.

Mary Mulcahy was born Dec. 19, 1924, to Timothy and Sarah (McDonald) Mulcahy in rural Darlington, Wisconsin, and was baptized at St. Michael Church in Yellowstone, Wisconsin. She attended public schools in Georgetown District #2 in rural Darlington, and Darlington High School. Mary entered St. Benedict’s Monastery Sept. 9, 1944, and was received into the novitiate June 21, 1945, taking the name Sister Carmen. On July 11, 1946, she made first monastic profession and perpetual monastic profession July 11, 1949.

Before entering St. Benedict’s Monastery, Sister Carmen had completed two years of nursing education in Freeport, Illinois. She continued her nursing education after entering monastic life, receiving a diploma from St. Cloud Hospital School of Nursing in 1950 and becoming a licensed registered nurse. At Marquette University, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, she earned a bachelor’s degree in nursing and a master’s degree in nursing with minors in education and philosophy. At the University of Wisconsin in Madison, she earned a doctorate in nursing education. Sister Carmen studied at the College of St. Theresa, Winona, Minnesota, and the University of Minnesota, and undertook clinical experience at Northwestern Hospital, Minneapolis, and St. Mary’s Hospital, Rochester, Minnesota. She studied guidance and counseling at St. Cloud State University and was also certified in operating room nursing and rehabilitation.

Sister Carmen served as a nurse educator at the St. Cloud Hospital School of Nursing. She served as supervisor and clinical instructor in the operating room, as head nurse in the recovery room and as both a classroom and clinical instructor, specializing in surgical care. For 14 years, she ministered at St. Anselm College in Manchester, New Hampshire, where she taught nursing in the classroom and clinical areas. In 1982, Sister Carmen returned to Wisconsin where she taught at the University of Wisconsin in Madison while also working toward her doctorate and caring for her sister, Benedictine Sister Maureen Mulcahy. When Sister Carmen returned to Minnesota in 1997, she taught nursing, ethics and parish nursing at the College of St. Benedict.

Following her retirement, she wrote a book, “Nursing Education by the Benedictine Sisters of St. Joseph, Minn.: An Account of Discipleship.” In 2011, she moved to St. Scholastica Convent in St. Cloud and later to St. Benedict’s Senior Community. Her final days were spent at Mother of Mercy Senior Living, Albany.

In addition to her Benedictine community, Sister Carmen is survived by her brother George of Darlington. She was preceded in death by her parents, her sister, Sister Maureen, and her brother, Michael.

Please direct memorial gifts to the Sisters of the Order of St. Benedict Outreach Ministries.


Author: The Central Minnesota Catholic

The Central Minnesota Catholic is the magazine for the Diocese of St. Cloud.

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