Birth: October 13, 1922
Profession: July 29, 1957
Death: April 25, 2019
Religious of the Sacred Heart, Eleanor Mulqueen Carr, died April 25, 2019, in Albany, New York.
Eleanor Carr, affectionately known as “Elly” was born in Brooklyn, New York on October 13, 1922, to Edward Q. Carr and Mary Mulqueen Carr. Her mother’s only sister was a Religious of the Sacred Heart, Mother Eleanor Mulqueen. Elly was one of five children; she had two older brothers and two younger sisters, with whom she shared “a very happy” childhood. In 1944, she graduated from Manhattanville College of the Sacred Heart in New York, where she earned a BA in Fine Arts and English. At one point during the five years that followed, she entered the Society of the Sacred Heart; but after a few months, “overwhelmed with homesickness,” she returned home. She worked for a publishing company and taught for a time, but her call to religious life persisted. She re-entered the Society of the Sacred Heart at Kenwood, Albany, New York, on the Feast of the Sacred Heart, June 1949. She made her first vows there in 1952 and final profession in Rome in 1957.
A religious for sixty-seven years, Sister Carr spent most of her life in the eastern United States, teaching on the secondary level at our schools in Albany and Greenwich, Connecticut, until 1964 when she moved to Manhattanville College, Purchase, New York. She received her PhD at New York University’s Institute of Fine Arts in 1969. At Manhattanville, she was professor of Art History and taught in the Master’s in Humanities Program. She also chaired the Department of Art History for over twenty years, and her love of art history continued throughout her ministerial career. After she left Manhattanville in 1987, she taught art history at the Convent of the Sacred Heart, 91st Street in New York, and evening classes at the 92nd Street Y. Until 2002, she was adjunct professor of Art History at Fordham University Lincoln Center’s, “College at Sixty” program, in which she taught retired senior citizens. Combined with this work, she gave slide lectures on art history to students preparing for their high school equivalency, combining lectures with trips to the Metropolitan Museum. She found working with these students particularly rewarding.
Sister Carr had a particular interest in Celtic (Irish) art resulting from her discovery of Celtic Christianity and her own ancestry. She visited Ireland in the nineties and was especially taken with the High Crosses of the ninth to the twelfth century. This experience contributed to her course planning and her own spiritual life. She lectured widely on the ancient Irish crosses; and in 1997, the art history department at Manhattanville invited her to give the Berger Lecture to share her work.
Her later years found Sister Carr continuing to teach part-time at Fordham and being responsible for hospitality in her community at 80th Street in New York City, host to numerous guests throughout the years. She retired from teaching at age eighty and, in 2011, moved to Avila in Albany, where she was known and loved throughout the larger community for her gentle spirit. In her notes she writes, “. . . increased awareness of the sufferings in the world today has moved me deeply. I am grateful to a loving God . . . and pray that I may use the remaining time here to ‘let go’ in order to bring [God’s] love to others.” Her move to Teresian House late in 2018 was that final letting go, and her longing for God was satisfied when she died peacefully on April 25, 2019.
Funeral services for Sister Carr will be held on Thursday, May 2, 2019, at 11:30 a.m. in the Teresian House chapel, followed by burial in the Kenwood cemetery.