Gertrude Brady

Birth: November 19, 1915
Profession: February 11, 1947
Death: January 16, 2007

Sister Gertrude Brady, longtime professor at Manhattanville College in New York City and Purchase, N.Y., died Tuesday (January 16, 2007) at Kenwood Convent of the Sacred Heart in Albany, N.Y., a retirement center for her religious order. She was 93 and had been a Religious of the Sacred Heart for nearly 70 years.

A native of New York City, Sister Brady earned a bachelor’s degree in English at College of Mount Saint Vincent there in 1934, a master’s degree in philosophy at Fordham University in 1936, and a doctorate in philosophy at Fordham in 1951.

She entered the Society of the Sacred Heart in 1937, professed her temporary vows in 1939 and her final vows in 1945.

Sister Brady began her teaching ministry in 1939, teaching for two years at Sacred Heart schools in Overbrook, Pa., and Norton, Conn. She moved to Detroit in 1941, and taught at Academy of the Sacred Heart, Lawrence Avenue, until 1944. (The school moved to suburban Bloomfield Hills in 1958.)

Sister Brady began teaching at Manhattanville in 1945, serving there until 1968, first as professor of philosophy, English and religion, and then, for many years, as director of admissions. In 1968, she moved to Rome, Italy, to work as a translator for an international center for superiors of religious orders.

She returned to the United States in 1970, when concerns for educating the educationally underserved – a foundation of her religious order’s mission – drew her to Atlanta, Georgia, where she worked for four years as director of admissions at Spelman College, a school founded in 1881 to educate African-American women. In addition to establishing procedures that made the admissions office more effective, and recruiting students from the U.S., she traveled to Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Jamaica and the Bahamas to expand the college’s reach.

From 1974 until 1976, she served as admissions director for The Doane Stuart School, a Sacred Heart school in Albany, New York, and then returned to New York City in 1976, working there, along with other RSCJ, until 1991 as co-principal at Holy Rosary School in East Harlem.

“Working in Harlem has been a privilege and a preferential option for the poor,” she wrote later. “I discovered firsthand the sorrows and struggles of children and adults in poverty, ill health and living in single-parent homes.”

Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, Sister Brady did post-doctoral work in history and government at schools in New York, Tokyo, Rome and Atlanta, Georgia.

Following her retirement from school administration, she served at St. Monica’s Catholic Church in New York City, and DeWitt Nursing Home, visiting the sick and performing other service work.

Sister Brady is survived by a sister, Evanne Brady Waldron, of Hatboro, Pennsylvania.

A vigil service for Sister Brady will be held in the chapel at Kenwood Convent at 4:30 p.m. Friday. A funeral Mass will be celebrated at Kenwood Convent in Albany at 9 a.m. Friday, January 19, followed by burial in the Kenwood Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Society of the Sacred Heart, 4100 Forest Park Avenue, Suite A, St. Louis, MO 63108.

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