Sr. Ellen Cavanaugh, RSM

  • Died: August 26, 2019
  • Location: Merion Station, Pennsylvania

D'Anjolell Memorial Home of Broomall

2811 West Chester Pike
Broomall, PA 19008

info@danjolell.com
Tel. (610) 356-4200

Tribute & Message From The Family


Beloved Sister and Aunt

Sister Ellen Cavanaugh, RSM, age 89, a member of the Sisters of Mercy, Mid-Atlantic died suddenly on August 26, 2019, at McAuley Convent in Merion, Pennsylvania.

After teaching elementary school at St. Denis School in Havertown, Sister Ellen served as principal of St. Barbara Day school for special needs students in Philadelphia. Next she ministered in several roles in the formation of young sisters including director of vocations and pre-entrance program. In 1977, Sister Ellen became the first director of Mercy Volunteer Corps, a position she held for ten years. She later became executive director of the Catholic Network for Volunteer Services in Washington DC.

Sister Ellen was known locally and internationally for her ministry in volunteer services. Pope John Paul II awarded her the Pontifical Honor of the Cross and the Archdiocese of Philadelphia awarded her the Saints John Neumann and Katharine Drexel Award for this innovative work. A gracious spirit, gentle and welcoming to all, Sister Ellen was humble and unassuming. Her legacy lives on in her family, community and all those whose lives she touched.

She is pre-deceased by her parents Thomas and Bridget, her brothers Thomas and (Rev.) Daniel, and sisters Mary (Bradley), Elizabeth (Kelly), Ursula (Tomany) and Theresa (Glenn). In addition to her religious community, S. Ellen is survived by her sister, Pat (Hickey-Breen), many nieces, nephews, grand-nieces and grand-nephews.

Relatives and friends are invited to a Visitation Friday, August 30, 6:00 - 7:00 pm followed by a Funeral Mass at 7:00 pm in the Chapel at the Convent of Mercy, 515 Montgomery Avenue, Merion Station, PA 19066. Burial in the community cemetery will be Saturday, August 31, 10 am.

Contributions in Sister's memory may be sent to the Sisters of Mercy Mid-Atlantic Community at the above address.


Services


Condolence & Memory Journal

Candle

I had the privilege of meeting S. Ellen when I worked for Mercy Volunteer Corps ('01-'07), and Gwynedd-Mercy College honored her, along with the other Executive Directors. She was a kind, and unassuming woman, always smiling. After becoming an Associate, we crossed paths on several occasions, and I visited her at McAuley Convent whenever I was there. S. Ellen was truly a modern day Catherine throughout her years as a Sister of Mercy. God's blessing to everyone she touched throughout her life. Rest well in God's arms, S. Ellen! You had a beautiful sending!

Posted by Andrea Remolde - Plymouth Meeting, PA - Friend   August 30, 2019

Posted by Katie Mindling - Silver Spring, MD - Friend   August 28, 2019

On Tuesday someone I love deeply, Sister Ellen, found her way home. To Janet, Danny, Erin, and I, she was beyond special. Simply put, she lived her life for others, never asking for something for herself and always thankful for what she had. When visiting her you knew you were loved. She made each of us feel special, when it was she who was so special. In our lives, if we are lucky our paths cross with a few incredible people. I was blessed to walk with her for almost sixty years. I will miss seeing her smile, holding her hand, and hearing her voice, but thankfully her love will be with me with me forever.

Posted by Dan Bradley - Monument, CO - Family   August 28, 2019

She was a wonderful woman and a mentor to me. I succeeded her at Catholic Network of Volunteer Services and she was always gracious and kind to me. I have a card on my desk that she sent me on the day I began my current position. It reads, "Today is a day for new beginnings." May she live in God's presence in her "new beginning."

Posted by Jim Lindsay - Washington, DC - Friend   August 27, 2019


Family Album


Community Photos

On Tuesday someone I love deeply, Sister Ellen, found her way home. To Janet, Danny, Erin, and I, she was beyond special. Simply put, she lived her life for others, never asking for something for herself and always thankful for what she had. When visiting her you knew you were loved. She made each of us feel special, when it was she who was so special. In our lives, if we are lucky our paths cross with a few incredible people. I was blessed to walk with her for almost sixty years. I will miss seeing her smile, holding her hand, and hearing her voice, but thankfully her love will be with me with me forever.