Judy Cagney, RSCJ

Birth: July 26, 1938
Profession: July 20, 1966
Death: November 3, 2013

Religious of the Sacred Heart Judy Cagney died on Sunday, November 3, 2013 after a brief illness. Remembered for her sharp intellect and generosity of spirit, her life will be celebrated in a Mass Christian Burial on Wednesday, November 6 at 5:00 PM in the chapel of the Convent of the Sacred Heart, 91st Street, New York. Burial will be at the Society of the Sacred Heart cemetery at Kenwood in Albany the following day, November 7 at 11:30 AM.

Judith Cagney was born July 26, 1938 in Evanston, Illinois to Richard D. and Mary Lynch Cagney. A graduate of the Convent of the Sacred Heart and Barat College, both in Lake Forest, Illinois, Judy entered the Society of the Sacred Heart in 1958. She made her first vows at Kenwood in 1961 and her final profession in Rome in 1966. She is survived by her sister, Joan Meyer and her husband, Ted, of Pinehurst, North Carolina, her brother, Richard Cagney and his wife, Meg, of Evanston, many beloved nieces and nephews and hundreds of sisters in the Society of the Sacred Heart. Her sister, Toni Norkett, predeceased her.

Sister Cagney’s first assignment was in 1962 at Hardey Preparatory School for Boys in Chicago, where she also served one year as dean of students. She later taught and served as dean at Duchesne Academy of the Sacred Heart in Omaha and at Barat College. After four years (1970-74) on the provincial team of the Society of the Sacred Heart’s Chicago Province, she returned to Barat College, where she served as president for eight years.

In 1982, she began a 20-year ministry as the treasurer of the United States Province of the Society of the Sacred Heart, based in St. Louis. She also served for five years (1988-1993) on the United States provincial team. Sister Cagney was an important part of the unification process. She had a knack for processing information to discern what was most essential. She was a thoughtful decision maker and helpful to others in their own process.

During her long tenure as treasurer, she frequently consulted with other provinces, always giving generously of her time and expertise. She had an extraordinary ability to act with compassion in that position, always attentive to the needs of the individual. She did her job well because she cared.

In 2001, Sister Cagney moved to New York City to serve as the director of finance for the Little Sisters of the Assumption Family Health Service in Harlem. She retired from that position in 2010.

Religious of the Sacred Heart recall Judy Cagney as an “ideal RSCJ,” dedicated in her ministries and loving in her relationships. A woman of substance and a brilliant mind, she was also deeply loving and a good friend. She was a good listener, easy to be with and loved each person differently. She was known for making herself available to others. Friendship was her greatest gift.

Sister Cagney was actively involved in provincial planning until just a few weeks before her death. Helping to create a path to the future was her final gift to her sisters.

In addition to her Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy from Barat College, Sister Cagney also had a Master’s Degree in philosophy from Fordham University. She served on numerous boards and committees.

PDF icon Homily for Judy Cagney37.36 KB


Submitted by hrosenthal on

My first memory of Judy is a visit to Barat College and having her show me all around; I did not know who she was and, when she asked me at the end of the morning tour if there was anything else she could show me, I told her that I wanted to meet Judy Cagney. She laughed and said that she was Judy! Then, when she knew that I could not hear the teleconferences, she sent me a week ahead the financial report she was to make to the whole Province. I was so touched by that and by her welcome whenever I saw her. She was so real!

Submitted by Marsha Whelan on

I came to know Judy when we were on the Board of Kenwood health center. I remember she had a wonderful sense of humor and always enjoyed a good laugh. I was saddened to read in Update of her illness just last week and surprised by her death five days ago. God Bless Judy.

Submitted by cathy o'conor on

judy was in the noviceship when i was, a year ahead of me. judy was a role model for the younger of us (in religious life) when it came to silence and prayer. she was also always ready for a good time on conge days. judy was truly an all round good and generous soul and will be missed by many, as she rests in the arms of her Lord.