Sister Rose Andrea Loughery, a beloved Sister of Saint Joseph for forty-nine years, died at Saint Joseph Villa, Flourtown, Pennsylvania on September 22, 2019. The Mass of Christian Burial was celebrated on September 26 at Saint Joseph Villa.
The second of three daughters born to Elizabeth and Thomas Loughery, she was named Cynthia Rose. The three girls –Rosemary, Cynthia and Andi became known as “the three little women” and enjoyed sharing themed birthday celebrations and sports. When the family moved from Mt. Airy to Glenside, Cindy attended Saint Luke School before entering Mount Saint Joseph Academy. Upon graduation from the Mount in 1969 she attended Drexel University for one year.
The witness of the Sisters of Saint Joseph at Saint Luke’s played an important role in Cindy’s discernment to enter the community. She recently shared that their joy and happiness was probably the biggest influence on her vocation. She shared her thoughts with Sister Helene Gardner, her Art teacher at the Mount, and entered the Sisters of Saint Joseph on September 8, 1970. The following May she received the habit and religious name Sister Rose Andrea.
After a period of training, prayer and study Sister Rose began her active ministry in education. For almost thirty years she served as teacher and administrator in schools in the Archdiocese of Philadelphia and the dioceses of Camden and Wilmington.
In 2001 Rose was named to be the second Director of the Associates of the Sisters of Saint Joseph. During her years in this ministry she encouraged others to use their gifts in building relationships and learning the spirit of the Sisters of Saint Joseph. She guided Associates in forming Christian Growth Groups and helped to lay a foundation for ongoing growth among the Associates.
When her term as Director of Associates was completed, Rose was asked to serve as Project Manager for the congregational history project. While doing that ministry she also served as an assistant in the Finance Office and became affectionately known as “the Car Czar”. In 2016 Rose was appointed Area Delegate, a ministry offering direct service to sisters and support of local communities in a specific area. Rose enjoyed each of her ministries, but she especially loved meeting with the sisters, being entrusted with their stories, and helping to foster the mission of the Sisters of Saint Joseph.
In reflecting on her ministerial life Sister Rose shared, “Each ministry had its challenges and blessings, and I found God was always present when challenges arose. One of the greatest blessings was the wonderful people I met and worked with.”
Rose faced her illness with courage and hope. She remained optimistic despite some difficult treatments. Once she learned the cancer could not be reversed she prepared for her next journey with love and fortitude. She prayed to meet her God soon, and looked forward to a reunion in a beautiful garden in heaven with her parents and grandmother.
In concluding her remembrance of Sister Rose, Sister Regina Bell shared, “Sister Rose Andrea Loughery, a woman of few words, lived her life with an awareness that she was blessed and for this she was so grateful. Her awareness that challenge was the way that God spoke to her enabled her to accept that challenge and grow into the person we knew and loved. In the Constitutions of the Sisters of Saint Joseph we find the following: As life unfolds, we know by experience that the Holy One is faithful and will enable us to move always toward the love of God and all others in God. (#146)
Rest in peace, dear Cindy.