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Maryknoll Sister Mary Edna Brophy, 90

Sister Mary Edna Brophy, 90, died Friday, Jan. 13 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Ossining. A trained nurse and missionary, she had been with the order for 60 years.
Sister Mary Edna Brophy, 90, died Friday, Jan. 13 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Ossining. A trained nurse and missionary, she had been with the order for 60 years. Photo Credit: Contributed

OSSINING, N.Y. – Longtime Maryknoller Sister Mary Edna Brophy, a missioner to Hong Kong, died on Friday, Jan. 13, in Ossining. She was 90.

Sister Mary Edna had been with the order for 60 years.

Typical of her lifelong desire to serve others, she donated her body to science, the order said.

A Vespers service will be held for her at 4:15 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 25 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, 10 Pinesbridge Road.

A funeral Mass is set for 11 a.m. on March 10will follow on Friday, March 10 in the main chapel at Maryknoll.

Born in Blackie, Alberta, Canada in 1926 to Veronica and George Brophy, she had two brothers, Joseph and Edward, and three sisters, Ursaula, Mary Ada and Agnes.

Her parents and siblings all predeceased her.

Sister Mary Edna attended Wingham High School, in Wingham, Ontario, Canada from 1940 to 1945. Her fifth year of high school was equivalent to first year university in the United States, the order said.

After high school she trained as a nurse at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto, Canada, earning her designation as a registered nurse in 1948.

She worked at St. Michael’s Hospital until 1955, and for a brief period at Mercy Hospital in Orlando, Fla., before entering the Maryknoll Sisters Novitiate in Ossining.

At her reception of the habit she received the religious name Sister M. Frances John, but after Vatican Council II, she returned to using her baptismal name, Mary Edna.

She made her first vows in 1958 at Maryknoll.

That same year, she was assigned as a missionary to Hong Kong where, after studying the Chinese language for one year, she served as a lab assistant in physics and chemistry at the Maryknoll Convent School in Hong Kong.

She took her final vows in 1964.

From 1965 to 1976, Sister Mary Edna was the administrator of Caritas Center Clinic in the Ngua Tau Kok area of Hong Kong. She also trained nurse’s aides, taught health classes and ran well-baby/nutrition and dental clinics.

From 1977 to 1979, she worked at the Maryknoll Sisters Health Services and attended clinical pastoral training in Toronto.

After returning to Hong Kong, she took a refresher course in Chinese and went on to serve in various roles at Maryknoll Hospital, Caritas Social Centre, Community Nursing Services, and Staff Nurse and Pastoral Service.

From 1989 to 1992, Sister Mary Edna worked with the Maryknoll Sisters Health Services in Ossining.

She eventually returned to Hong Kong where she set up pastoral ministry services in two large government hospitals.

In 2004, she came back to the states to serve as a Pastoral Team member at Maryknoll.

Later on, she volunteered as a social services assistant, retiring in 2012.

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