Cover photo for Sr. Rosemary McCarthy, SHCJ's Obituary
Sr. Rosemary McCarthy, SHCJ Profile Photo

Sr. Rosemary McCarthy, SHCJ

January 13, 1924 — July 7, 2023


Sr. Rosemary McCarthy, SHCJ

Rosemary McCarthy, SHCJ

January 13, 1924 – July 7, 2023

Teacher, Volunteer


Rosemont, Pennsylvania – Rosemary McCarthy, SHCJ, a Sister of the Holy Child Jesus for 80 years, died on Friday, July 7, 2023. She was 99.


Sister Rosemary was beloved by all who met her, especially her students. At her Jubilee celebration, Sister Rosemary shared, “From my parents, I inherited a happy disposition. In my years of teaching in New York City, Portland, Ore., and Anaheim, Calif., and through my service at Dalton Center in New York City, I have been happy and tried to share that joy with others. In retirement, it’s the same but with canes, walkers, and wheelchairs. In day-to-day living, I actively embrace the qualities of Cornelia Connelly—simplicity, humility, charity, and joy. I end each day giving thanks for the blessing of my vocation as a Sister of the Holy Child Jesus.”


Sister Rosemary entered the Society of the Holy Child Jesus after graduating from Saint Walburga’s Academy in New York City, where she was taught by the Sisters of the Holy Child Jesus. She made her first and final vows in 1943 and 1948, respectively. She became well known by her religious name Mother Mary Januarius.


Sister Rosemary taught for 45 years at four schools beginning at her alma mater Saint Walburga’s Academy (1943-51), followed by Holy Child Academy in Portland, Ore. (1951-67), Cornelia Connelly School of the Holy Child in Anaheim, Calif. (1967-1979), and Our Lady of Lourdes in New York City (1979-88).


In 1988, Sister Rosemary moved to the Holy Child Sisters’ community in Rye, N.Y., where she lived and served for four years. In 1992, she moved to New York City, where she ministered at Dalton Center for Mission from 1992-2005. She also volunteered at a local soup kitchen and assisted the chaplain at New York University Medical Center.


In 2005, Sister Rosemary retired from full-time ministry and returned to the Sisters’ community in Rye, where she volunteered her time helping visually impaired people and ministering through prayer. 


In 2016, Sister Rosemary moved to Holy Child Center in Rosemont, Pa., where she met old friends and made new ones with her trademark humor and kindness. She shared her time reading to Sisters with visual impairments and found small ways to spread cheer to others. Famous for her thank you notes and communication skills, Sister Rosemary extended good wishes to whomever she encountered. And from her hidden corner in Holy Child Chapel, she prayed for the needs of all the world and her beloved fellow Holy Child Sisters and former students.


Kathy Cordes, SHCJ, a former student and long-time friend of Sister Rosemary, shared the following about Sister Rosemary, “From my high school years to the present, Rosemary, Mother Jan, has always been a wonderful, caring person. She was our favorite teacher – we loved her welcoming smile, laughter, love of nature and the New York Yankees. Rosemary was joyful, accepting, a terrific listener, and a great storyteller. I have been blessed to know Rosemary, Mother Jan, and happy to know that her prayers have been answered – she is in heaven with God.”


Sister Rosemary earned a Bachelor of Arts in History from Villanova University in 1951 and a Master of Arts in Education from Gonzaga University in 1957.


She joins her parents Joseph and Elizabeth (Wiczotski), and sister Marion and brother-in-law Sterling, in eternal rest. She is survived by many beloved nieces, nephews, grandnieces, and grandnephews.


Friends and family are invited to a prayer service of remembrance on Thursday, July 13, at 4:00 p.m., and a Mass of Christian Burial on Friday, July 14, at 11:00 a.m., at Holy Child Chapel, 1341 Montgomery Avenue, Rosemont, Pa., 19010. Preceding Mass, friends and family are welcome to attend the viewing at 10:00 a.m. Interment Calvary Cemetery, Conshohocken, PA.


In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to the Society of the Holy Child Jesus – American Province, 1341 Montgomery Avenue, Rosemont, Pa. 19010, or made online at

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Sr. Rosemary McCarthy, SHCJ, please visit our flower store.

Past Services

Prayer Service of Remembrance

Thursday, July 13, 2023

Starts at 4:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Friday, July 14, 2023

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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Mass of Christian Burial

Friday, July 14, 2023

Starts at 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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Friday, July 14, 2023

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