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A Light of Faith

Posted by Kacie Emmerson

March 7, 2023

On March 7, 2023, Sisters and friends – including some special guests from Boston, gathered together for Mass and a special meal to celebrate the 108th birthday of Sister Evelyn Hurley. The occasion was marked with many greetings, gifts, and special recognition for the centenarian Sister.

Sister Evelyn is soon approaching her 90th profession of vows, and is believed to be the second oldest living woman religious in the United States. Her remarkable longevity and commitment to her faith have inspired many, both within and outside of her Community. In commenting on her 108th year, Sister Evie shared gratitude for her loving Community of Sisters. 

“We all need one another, and it makes me so happy and I have been so happy here at the Motherhouse,” she said. “I can’t tell you how many happy, happy moments I have enjoyed and I have enjoyed every one of you.”

Born in 1915, Sister Evelyn entered the Sisters of Charity of Nazareth as a teenager and has dedicated her life to serving others through her faith. In her many years, she has served in various roles and ministries with the Congregation, including a lengthy career in education. She has also witnessed many changes in the world and in the Church. She has seen wars and conflicts come and go, has witnessed the growth of technology, and has survived more than one pandemic. Through it all, she has remained steadfast in her devotion to her faith and her service to others.

“What a privilege and honor that we are amongst those who get to celebrate these many years of a life so beautifully, so fatefully and joyfully lived,” said Sister Barbara Flores as she welcomed those in attendance at the Eucharistic celebration.

Among some special guests in attendance Tuesday were members of Sister Evie’s family – her nephew, Kevin Richards; his wife, Donna, and niece, Maureen Richards. Father Robert Casey of St. Brigid Parish in South Boston, also made the trip out for the celebration. Sister Evie is originally from South Boston and taught in the parish school there for more than 50 years. During Mass, Father Casey shared that he had brought with him citations from state and national leaders recognizing Sister Evie for her many years of life. One citation came from City Council member Mike Flaherty, a former student of Sister Evie, who declared March 7 as Sister Evelyn Hurley Day in the city of Boston.

Father Casey also brought with him many notes and cards from Boston family and friends, as well as 100 or so birthday cards created by a group of first graders of South Boston Catholic Academy. He read a few of the children’s cards.

“108 is great! My teacher is Ms. Gannon, you taught her dad. I hope you have the best day.”

– First grade student of South Boston Catholic Academy

“Anyone who knows Sister knows what a remarkable memory she has at 108. She knows all of her students’ names, what family they were connected to, and probably remembers the grades that she gave to them,” Father Casey said, emphasizing that each student Sister Evie taught holds a special place in her heart. Long retired from teaching, Sister Evelyn has remained active in the Community by writing birthday cards for others, making daily phone calls, praying and caring for the infirm, and checking in on her fellow Sisters. On Tuesday, however, it was Sister’s turn to be doted on as wellwishers visited her throughout the day. 

“Sister Evelyn, like many of your fellow Sisters of Charity, you have been a wonderful role model of someone who has stayed true to her identity as a child of God,” Father Casey said. “The salt of your soul and your vocation has not gone flat. You are still a light of faith and love in our world as you have stayed true to live out your journey as a committed religious Sister.”

At the end of Tuesday’s Mass, Sister Evie was presented with an Apostolic Blessing from Pope Francis.

Read more about Sister Evelyn Hurley here. Video of Tuesday’s Mass is available below:


  1. Ann Palatty

    Happy birthday, Sister Evelyn. You are indeed a legend and inspiration.

  2. Nimmie

    Happy birthday Evelyn. I rejoice with you.

  3. Luke

    It was a great day. Many thanks to all who assisted in any way.

    • Rena Fernandes

      Happy Birthday Sister Evelyn!🌷 Thank you for being blessing for all of us.


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