Sister Mary Celeste O’Bryan, the former Mary Margaret “Margie,” was a Sister of Mercy for 72 years. Sister Mary Celeste (Margie) met the Sisters of Mercy in Jamestown, and on September 8, 1950, she joined the Mercy Community in Buffalo, New York. Believing that God had called her to religious life, she accepted the religious name, Sister Mary Celeste.
Sister Mary Celeste received a Bachelor of Science in Education from Medaille (former Mt. St. Joseph) College and a Master of Science in Education from Buffalo State University. She also completed one year of Religious Studies at Christ the King Seminary in East Aurora and took additional courses at Canisius College and St. Bonaventure University.
Sister Mary Celeste taught in various Catholic schools in the Buffalo Diocese for almost thirty years. South Buffalo schools included Holy Family, St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Agatha, St. Teresa, St. Monica, and St. Martin; St. Mary of the Angels, Olean; St. Teresa of the Infant Jesus, Niagara Falls; St. James, Jamestown; St. Mary, Holley and Immaculate Conception School, Wellsville. Then for two years, she had the opportunity to minister in Education in the Mercy Mission in the Philippines.
In the early 1980’s Sister Mary Celeste represented the Sisters of Mercy at the South Buffalo Ecumenical Association meetings. This organization was exploring the possibility of starting a South Buffalo Soup Kitchen. In June of 1983, she took on the responsibility of being Director of the South Buffalo Community Table, which is presently at 187 Southside Parkway, Buffalo (The Good Shepherd Baptist Church). Posted in the kitchen is the organization’s Philosophy of Service. “God’s imperishable Spirit is in all things, and God created all things in God’s image and likeness. Because of this belief, we serve God by serving the person who comes to us.”
In 2015 Sister Mary Celeste traveled to Albany to receive “the Woman of Distinction Award,” presented by New York State Senator Tim Kennedy. Her focus for seventy-two years continued to show her compassionate love for each person she encountered