Sister Mary Josepha Timmins spent most of her 77 years as a Sister of Mercy educating students in Catholic elementary schools in the Diocese of Buffalo, New York. In her life as a sister, the Oneida, New York, native lived in public housing during the Civil Rights Movement, spent many summers ministering in a migrant camp in the Buffalo area, guided religious education at St. Stephen/St. Monica parishes after their schools closed and served five years at McAuley House working with youth.
“The challenges and blessings of teaching and handing on the Mercy Spirit to so many children gave me a great joy for over 40 years,” Sister Mary Josepha once said in an interview. “Many of my assignments were in schools in poor neighborhoods or with those people who worked directly with the poor.” In later years, she companioned senior sisters as coordinator of personal services in the healthcare unit.