Sister Marie Mackey, C.S.J., spoke about hope and the vocation of love — and sticking to those values during polarizing times — during the Founders Day lecture Tuesday, Nov. 12, inside a full Tuohy Hall auditorium.
S. Marie, director of young adult ministry and vocational discernment for the Sisters of St. Joseph in Brentwood, shared stories about the challenges in finding hope and staying positive in a world spinning with news headlines about horrors happening in our country and abroad.
She offered some advice: “Follow the Golden Rule. Be kind to others. Say ‘Hello,’ and make eye contact with people. If someone says ‘Hello’ to you first, say ‘Hello’ right back — it’s not strange. Smile; it’s a universal language … Say you’re sorry. Pray or meditate every day.
“Don’t make excuses. Include others. Don’t overuse social media. And get out of your head, and do something for someone else,” she added.
By following these steps, S. Marie said anyone can find the “vocation of love.”
Dedicated to Spiritual Values
S. Marie became the campus ministry director at the start of the fall semester, replacing S. Susan Wilcox, C.S.J., who has transitioned to a new role as the coordinator of peace, justice and integrity for the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph’s in Brentwood. S. Wilcox held the campus ministry director position for 16 years.
S. Marie, before her appointment as campus ministry director, enjoyed a long career nourishing the minds of children in the Catholic community. After graduating from SJC Brooklyn in 1984, she worked as a high school and theology teacher at Bishop Kearney High School, St. Francis Preparatory High School and The Mary Louis Academy. She has also taught at the Lay Ecclesial Ministry Training Program for the Diocese of Brooklyn.
S. Marie shared her dedication to spiritual values with the SJC Brooklyn community during her Founders Day lecture. She spoke of the issues many people face with loving thy neighbor.
“Pray for your enemies and your persecutors,” S. Marie said. “I know it’s hard, but Jesus calls us to take the high road. One of the biggest lessons we learn from our enemies is that they teach us what not to do. Over time, you will find that you are less angry and more patient.”
Spreading a Message of Hope and Love
She is often found teaching students on campus the importance of helping others. Last month, she led the annual Day of Service at the Sisters of St. Joseph motherhouse in Brentwood — a special service event for all first-year students.. The Day of Service featured numerous service activities benefiting the area.
“It’s a wonderful way for the students and the staff to make the connection that this is where it all started,” S. Marie said of the Day of Service. “The Sisters of St. Joseph started the College in 1916, and we still support the College in so many ways. The mission and the legacy that was our foundation, beginning in 1650, continues on today at St. Joseph’s College.”
Last year, S. Marie accompanied SJC Brooklyn and SJC Long Island students on a day-long retreat to the Jamaica Estates, Queens, campus of The Mary Louis Academy, which offered attendees access to tools to improve their mental health, — including special relaxation methods, mantras and scriptures.