Eternal rest grant to them, O Lord

In Memoriam

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Sr. Eleanor Woods (1936 - 2020)

April 20, 1936 - November 14, 2020

Sr. Eleanor was a woman of deep faith and love for God. She loved the outdoors and was an avid sports fan. Born in New Haven, CT on April 20, 1936, she was the oldest of seven children. She attended St. Stanislaus Elementary School and Wilbur Cross High School both in New Haven. After graduating from high school, she worked for a year as a secretary at Yale University Press before entering the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth in 1955. She credited the CYO (Catholic Youth Organization) in her parish with planting the seed of her vocation to religious life. Upon entering the novitiate in 1956, Eleanor received the name Sr. Mary Charlotte. She later returned to her baptismal name. She professed final vows in 1964.

She began her education ministry as a third grade teacher in St. Adalbert School, Elmhurst, NY. Feeling the inner call to be a missionary, she later volunteered to serve in our Santa Cruz, Peru mission. After earning a BA in education, she spent four months in Ponce, Puerto Rico for an intensive Spanish course before arriving in Peru in December 1964. She fell in love with the people of Peru, their land, their culture and their gracious spirit.

After Peru, Sr. Eleanor taught Spanish at St. Mary’s High School in Worcester, MA where she also started a physical education program. She also served as principal of St. Peter Claver School in Brooklyn, NY. She later transitioned to the role of pastoral minister at St. Peter Claver Parish. After receiving her certification as a spiritual director, Sr. Eleanor was appointed director at the House of Prayer in Riverhead, NY. Through the years, she also served as director of religious education at Our Lady of the Presentation and Our Lady of Loreto in Brooklyn, chaplain with Momentum Aids Project of Manhattan, and chaplain at the NYS Veteran’s Home in St. Alban’s, Queens, NY.

Sr. Eleanor retired from her ministry in June 2013 and moved to Immaculate Heart of Mary Convent, Monroe, CT.

Sr. Eleanor’s declining health may have lessened her physical and mental capabilities but it did not take away her pleasant disposition, her beautiful smile and her acceptance of all persons. Sr. Eleanor died as she lived, peacefully and calmly, on the evening of November 14, 2020. Her interment was private in keeping with current health and safety guidelines of the Sisters of the Holy Family of Nazareth – Holy Family Province.

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