Sr. Irene Freely, F.S.P.
April 4, 1941 – May 7, 2019
Sr. Irene Freely, FSP (aka Sr. James Marian) died in peace on May 7th at Cabrini Nursing Home, Dobbs Ferry, NY.
Sr. Irene was 78 years old and was a Franciscan Sister for 60 years. She was born in NYC on April 4, 1941 to Elizabeth Steineger and James Freely. She grew up in the Inwood section of Manhattan and graduated from Our Lady, Queen of Martyrs School where she met the Franciscan Sisters. She attended Cathedral High School, graduating in 1959. Sr. Irene entered the novitiate of the Franciscan Sisters at Peekskill, NY in 1959 and professed her first vows in 1961. She was assigned to teach in grammar schools in New Jersey and Philadelphia. She then ministered in child care at the Lt. Joseph P. Kennedy Jr. Home, Bronx, NY for more than 10 years. She received a B.A. degree in Human Services from Dominican College, Blauvelt, NY and later her Masters in Social Work from Fordham University. Sr. Irene transferred to the Franciscan Sisters of Peace when the new congregation was established in 1986. After completing her M.S.W. she joined the staff of a Covenant House Program called “Under 21” and shortly after that the Dominican Sisters Family Health Services in the South Bronx. In 1983 she was one of the sisters who pioneered the Newburgh Ministry, an outreach program attempting to meet the needs of an impoverished area in Newburgh, NY. After a sabbatical period spent in Guatemala in 1988 living with women religious from that area, she returned to that country for 8 years. With funding from grants, she established feeding programs for poor children, a program to enable children to attend the local school rather than work in the fields, a library, a program to teach women to use sewing machines to make clothes and other efforts to assist the poor. After her return to the U.S. in 1996, Sr. Irene was in social work ministry at St. Nicholas Tolentine Parish, Bronx, NY for 10 years until her retirement due to illness. She is survived by her sister Virginia Cassell, her nephew John Cassell, and three nieces Kristina Brennan, Irene Cassell and Beth Marshall and many cousins. All services will be held at Marian Woods, 152 Ridge Road, Hartsdale, NY 10530. Wake will be on Friday, May 10th from 3 to 7 PM. Mass of Resurrection on Saturday, May 11th at 10:00 AM. Whalen & Ball Funeral Home 168 Park Avenue Yonkers, NY 10703 (914)965-5488 www.whalenandballfh.com
- Visitation Friday, May 10, 2019
- Vigil Service Friday, May 10, 2019
- Mass of Christian Burial Saturday, May 11, 2019
- Committal Service Saturday, May 11, 2019
Sr. Irene Freely, F.S.P.
May 9, 2019
Irene generously welcomed me to her home in Zacapa, Guatemala in 1991. We lived together for two months and she provided some wonderful enrichment experiences: a week of retreat with about forty American women religious at the Maryknoll House in Guatemala City; another week with the NY Sisters of Charities in the mountains of Guatemala; numerous rides in the famous yellow school buses that went back and forth between Zacapa and Guatemala City.
I was glad to be able to help Irene find work at Tolentine Zeiser Center when she returned to the US. More recently I saw her at Cabrini where she blessed so many with her smile.
May 9, 2019
Irene, Many happy memories when we live in Our Lady Queen of Martyrs, Arden Street. You, Ginny and your Mom are always apart of my memories, your Grandmother was also very Special. We took different paths as we got older, but never forgotten. God Bless ! Ginny I’m so sorry for your lost.