Sister Augustine Dempsey IBVM (Mary Patricia) died peacefully on Saturday, April 30, 2022 surrounded by her Loreto Sisters at Ss. Simon and Jude Convent.
Sister Augustine (Mary Patricia) was the daughter of James W. Dempsey and Gertrude L. (Condon) Dempsey and was born in Cork City, Ireland on March 27, 1923. She had one sibling, James Kevin Dempsey who preceded her in death.
Sister Augustine was a very patriotic Irishwoman, however, in recent years, having acquired her Naturalization Certificate in U.S.A. she proudly waved her American Flag and celebrated her 38 years of living and serving people in this country.
Sister Augustine in her younger years was keenly interested in sports and games — participated in field hockey, tennis, and swimming and was always cheering and praying the Irish hurling, soccer and rugby teams on to victory. Here in Arizona, her passion has been cheering and praying on the Phoenix Suns to victory — definitely, a true and faithful “Suns’ Nun.”
In Ireland, after her Religious Profession, Sister Augustine taught in Loreto High Schools in County Cork for 37 years. When she first came to the U.S. she was missioned in New Orleans, Louisiana. She was one of the founding members of St. Benilde School in New Orleans, serving as a teacher, and thereafter as principal, before coming to Flagstaff, Arizona, where she gave service in varied ministries, including: hospital chaplaincy, Holy Communion to residents at care facilities and to the homebound, ministry of prayer at funerals and graveside services, spiritual mentoring and service with prayer groups and with The Guadalupanas, service with St. Vincent de Paul Society, and assistance at the Family Food Center.
Upon retiring from all her apostolates in Flagstaff, Sister Augustine came to live with her Loreto Sisters at Ss. Simon and Jude Convent in Phoenix, but, she did continue to give service by tutoring individual students from Ss. Simon and Jude School, and, for a time, serving as Spiritual Advisor with the parish-based St. Vincent de Paul group, and was also involved with the Potter’s Field Ministry – the burial of the indigent poor with dignity and prayer.
Sister Augustine held an M.A. degree in Education, as well as a Guidance Counselor Certificate. She taught, guided, and mentored students, not just in their formative years, but in the advancing stages of their lives when they sought her advice and counseling. As one former student put it: “She has been my guardian angel, my teacher, my advisor and my dear friend.”
Well done, Sister Augustine! You will be very much missed by your kind and attentive relatives, your dear friends, and your Loreto Sisters, who love you so much.
May you live forever in the Presence of the Lord, Whom you served so well.
Visitation will begin at 6:00 p.m. with a Vigil Service & Rosary at 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 4, 2022 at SS. Simon & Jude Cathedral, 6351 N. 27th Ave. in Phoenix. Funeral Mass will be held at Noon on Thursday, May 5, 2022 at SS. Simon & Jude Cathedral immediately followed by lunch in Smith Hall. Interment will follow at St. Francis Catholic Cemetery, 2022 N. 48th St. in Phoenix. The Funeral Mass will be livestreamed on the SS. Simon & Jude Cathedral Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/simonjudecathedral Condolences may be expressed at www.whitneymurphyfuneralhome.com
In lieu of flowers, donations in Sr. Augustine’s memory may be made to the Loreto Sisters Retirement Fund c/o SS. Simon & Jude School, 6351 N. 27th Ave., Phoenix, AZ 85017 or www.simonjudeschool.org (then click online giving.)
Eternal rest grant unto to her, O Lord and let perpetual light shine upon her. May her soul, and the souls of all the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.