Life Story for Sr. Vincentia Devine, RSM
Devine, Sister Mary Vincentia RSM, (Alyce Devine) died in St. Peter’s Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, Albany, on Thursday, April 20, 2017. She had been a Sister of Mercy for 76 years. Born in Albany, New York, she was the daughter of the late Lawrence Devine and Anne O’Connor Devine. Sister Vincentia earned a bachelor’s degree from the College of St. Rose and a master’s degree from Villanova. She ministered as a teacher at St. Patrick’s, Vincentian, and Bishop Maginn, Albany; Our Lady of Mercy, Colonie; St. Patrick’s and Keveny, Cohoes; St. John the Baptist, Schenectady; and St. Mary’s, Waterford, where she also ministered as principal. In addition to teaching English at Bishop Maginn, she served as librarian.
Sister Vincentia loved to teach. She not only touched students in the area of academics but she supported them in their activities as well. If they needed a faculty sponsor to enable them to put on a play or work on a yearbook, she was there to help out, always with a beautiful smile. Sister possessed an unassuming manner and gentle strength.
To say that Sister Vincentia was supportive of Catholic education would be to understate her commitment. Even after she retired from teaching, she served as a “recruiter” for volunteers to work the annual phonathon to benefit Bishop Maginn High School. Any Sisters of Mercy who were graduates of Catholic high schools could count on receiving an annual call from Sister asking them to give their time to make phone calls. She made the request so sweetly and earnestly that it was virtually impossible to say no. She worked tirelessly alongside her recruits.
Sister Vincentia had a passion for justice, advocating on behalf of persons in need, taking seriously the call to be a voice for the voiceless. As a member of the Mercy Justice Committee, she regularly wrote letters to congress persons on matters of social justice. Her advocacy for others was accompanied by her faithfulness to praying the rosary, a sign of her life-long devotion to the Blessed Mother.
In addition to her parents, Sister Mary Vincentia was predeceased by her brother, Paul Devine (Anne) and her sister Kathryn Coogan (Vincent). She is survived by her sister, Rose Thoma (late John), and several nieces, nephews and cousins as well as by her religious community, the Sisters of Mercy. Viewing hours will be from 4:00 – 8:00 p.m. Sunday, April 23, in the Chapel of the Convent of Mercy, 634 New Scotland Avenue, Albany. Relatives and friends are invited to attend a Prayer Service of Remembrance in the Chapel at 7:00 p.m. The Liturgy of Christian Death and Burial will be celebrated at 9:30 a.m. Monday, April 24, at the Convent of Mercy. Interment will follow in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, East Greenbush. The Sisters of Mercy are grateful to the staff of St. Peter’s Nursing and Rehabilitation Center for the great tenderness with which they cared for our Sister. Contributions may be made in Sister Mary Vincentia’s memory to the Sisters of Mercy, 634 New Scotland Avenue, Albany, New York 12208.