Birth: Aug. 16, 1911
Profession: Feb. 8, 1938
Death: May 22, 2010
CORA ELIZABETH MCLAUGHLIN, RSCJ, 98 years, died at Teresian House May 22, 2010. Born in New York City on August 16, 1911, she was the daughter of William Sebastian McLaughlin and Lucerna Lyon McLaughlin. She grew up in New York and Connecticut and attended school at the Convent of the Sacred Heart, Maplehurst, in New York City. After graduating from high school, she entered the Society of the Sacred Heart at Kenwood, Albany, NY, on September 7, 1929, and she pronounced her final vows at the Villa Lante in Rome on February 8, 1938.
Sister McLaughlin later received a B.A. in English and History and an M.A. in Education from the University of Detroit. In addition, she continued her education through numerous Art, Film, and Theology workshops and courses.
In 1932, Sister McLaughlin began her ministry in education, a ministry which spanned over 60 years. She taught at Sacred Heart schools in Philadelphia, PA, Albany, NY, Noroton and Greenwich, CT, and Detroit and Bloomfield Hills, MI. Along with teaching, she was Dean of Disciple in several of the schools and worked with various age levels. In her notes, she wrote of her experience in Detroit (1954-1958): “I went to Lawrence Avenue (Detroit) where the Middle School brought out all my teaching skills and my artistic and dramatic ability.”
Sister McLaughlin was a dynamic woman of many talents, distinguishing herself both in academic and administrative posts. Teaching was an adventure which she approached with vibrant creativity, using every means possible to transmit to her students of all ages the excitement she found in learning and her appreciation of beauty. It was said of her that: “…to her students, Cora was a companion, an encourager, and a guide whose lasting interest in them was legendary. Faith in God, optimism and her love for people were among her most endearing characteristics.”
For several years, Sister McLaughlin led groups of students and adults in travel through the United States and Europe bringing to life the charism of the Society of the Sacred Heart and its history. Through these journeys, she created slide presentations which were later used as educative tools. When she retired from the classroom, she continued in ministry through adult education, prayer groups, and retreats.
In 2002, Sister McLaughlin left Greenwich, her beloved home of many years, to join the retired religious community at Kenwood. Then, on June 17, 2006 she moved to Teresian House. Although her physical strength diminished, her mind and spirit remained strong. She kept close contact with family and friends, maintained a keen interest in what was happening in the world near and far, and continued to deepen her contemplative life. On May 22, 2010, this generous, strong, loving religious died peacefully.
Sister McLaughlin’s eight siblings have preceded her in death. She is survived by numerous nieces and nephews, many friends, and her RSCJ community. A Memorial Mass will be celebrated at 1:00 PM on Wednesday, June 2, 2010, in the Teresian House Chapel. Interment in the Kenwood Convent cemetery will follow the service.