"Mother Alfred Moes. Sister Mary Joseph. Sister Generose Gervais. To most Rochesterites, these names are synonymous with Mayo Clinic and with the fabric of our city."
Jennifer Koski from the Post-Bulletin recently had the pleasure of talking to the woman who bought Sister Antoine's desk. Sister Antoine died in February at 104 years old and was the last surviving sister to have worked with the Mayo Brothers.
Dr. Darlene Kelly, the proud new owner of Sister Antoine’s desk, is a cojourner—a lay member of the Sisters of St. Francis. Cojourners share a relationship with the sisters, by way of time spent, prayers given, and missions and ministries shared. According to Dr. Kelly, some cojourners help with the sisters’ health care, while others share meals and socialize with them. Dr. Kelly works on a committee for human trafficking education, a cause important to the Franciscans.
According to Koski, Dr. Kelly's relationship with Sister Antoine grew through her friendship with Franciscan Sister Bernadette, who for 30 years was Dr. Kelly's cat sitter and house sitter. As a result of that friendship, Dr. Kelly would often get invited to eat meals with the sisters, including Sister Antoine (and Sister Generose), at Saint Marys.
Dr. Kelly described Sister Antoine as “a fairly tall lady who looked like she just stepped out of a high fashion store. And she was always smiling and warm.”
Sister Antoine passed away on February 15, 2018, one month to the day after her 104th birthday. After her death, many of her possessions that didn’t go to family members were auctioned or sold to raise money for the Poverello Fund.