Birth: August 22, 1932
Profession: February 4, 1964
Death: September 20, 2015
Religious of the Sacred Heart Marie Lufkin died Sunday, September 20, 2015, in Albany, N.Y. A lover of music, art and beauty, as well as the smallest of God’s children, her life will be celebrated in a Mass of Christian Burial on Monday, September 28 at 1:00 p.m. at Convent of the Sacred Heart, 1 East 91st Street, in New York. Burial will be at the Society of the Sacred Heart cemetery at Kenwood on October 3 at 11:00 a.m.
Marie Murray Lufkin was born in New York City on August 22, 1932, the daughter of Elgood Mouton Lufkin and Marie Murray Lufkin. She was preceded in death by her parents and her brothers Thomas Murray McDonnell and John Lufkin. Known to her friends as Maisie, she is survived by her sister-in-law Jane Fisher McDonnell, 10 nieces and nephews, numerous grand nieces and nephews and her sisters in the Society of the Sacred Heart.
Maisie first met the Society of the Sacred Heart as a student at Manhattanville College, which was then operated by the Society. She graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in History in 1954 and entered the Society in 1955. She made her first vows in the Society in 1958 and her final profession February 4, 1964.
Sister Lufkin’s first assignment after first vows was at the Convent of the Sacred Heart, Kenwood in Albany, where she was the music director for both the school and the religious community in addition to teaching. In 1961, she moved to Convent of the Sacred Heart, Greenwich (CT), where she taught until leaving for Rome in 1963 for six months of preparation for her final vows. From 1964 to 1968, she served at Nottingham Convent of the Sacred Heart in Buffalo, NY. She returned to Greenwich for two years as curriculum coordinator, then returned again to Nottingham for two additional years. Following two years as curriculum coordinator, teacher and guidance counselor at Convent of the Sacred Heart, 91st Street, New York, she served on the provincial leadership team for the former New York Province, 1974-82.
Following her service in leadership, Sister Lufkin travelled to Korea. She spent two years as English professor and teacher of English as a Second Language at Song Sim College for Women in Puchon. After an intensive language course in Korean, she returned to Song Sim for another year, 1988-89.
Throughout her ministries in the schools, Sister Lufkin honed her organizational and leadership skills to complement her naturally generous and empathetic nature, serving her well when she returned to Greenwich one last time to serve as assistant headmistress until 1993. As assistant headmistress, she worked tirelessly to establish a coordinate liaison between Convent of the Sacred Heart and the Carver Center in Portchester, which has been a vibrant relationship of mutual exchange and support for more than 25 years.
A woman of great insight into the work of education, she used her creative mind, vast knowledge of curriculum and insight into the educational needs of young girls to create an entirely new approach to learning and curriculum while at Greenwich. She shifted the focus from achievement to effort and the value of risk even if it meant mistakes and setbacks.
Sister Lufkin left the schools in 1993 to begin a new ministry to the economically poor at Little Sisters Family Health Services in East Harlem, New York, operated by the Little Sisters of the Assumption. She served there, primarily teaching English as a Second Language and for many years as the administrative assistant to the Director. Maisie continued teaching ESL classes until last year when a change in the program and declining health forced her to slow down.
Her reverence for every child or adult who crossed her path, made her beloved by all. Never critical or demanding in her work with others, she valued the individual gifts of each person.
In addition to her Bachelor of Arts, Sister Lufkin also earned a Master of Arts in History and Philosophy from Manhattanville.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Society of the Sacred Heart, 4120 Forest Park Avenue, St. Louis, MO 63108.