In Memoriam: Sister Julia ‘Cecelia’ McGanty (Jan. 10, 1930 – June 11, 2021)

June 2021 Posted in Obituary

Sr. Julia McGanty, O.S.B., a long-time member of Queen of Angels Monastery, died in the very early afternoon of June 11, 2021, in the infirmary at Queen of Angels Monastery, Mount Angel, Oregon. 

Born in Yamhill, Oregon, to William and Margaret McGanty, Sr. Julia (Cecelia) McGanty attended St. John’s Church in Yamhill as a child and attended schools in Yamhill and McMinnville. She continued her education while in boarding school at Mt. Angel Academy and at Mt. Angel College. Influenced by the prayer life of the Benedictine Sisters, Cecelia asked to enter the religious community and professed her vows on Feb. 10, 1949, taking the name of Sister Julia.

Sr. Julia served in a variety of ministries during her community life, including work in food service at Mount Angel Abbey. In 1954 she was called to serve at Christie Indian Residential School on Meares Island in British Columbia, where she supervised playground sports, and performed nursing and cooking duties for the school. When Sr. Julia returned to Mount Angel, she worked at the Benedictine Village Home, the Benedictine Nursing Home, and the Monastery’s infirmary.

Sr. Julia taught religion to children at St. Mary Parish in Mount Angel for 16 years, and at St. Paul Parish in Silverton, as well as teaching religious education classes in many other parishes throughout Oregon.

In 1974 Sr. Julia attended the Academy of Hair Design in Salem and became a licensed cosmetologist. She later worked at LaDonna’s Beauty Center in Silverton, and, later, at Visions Salon and Spa. She has donated hair care services at the River House, Marquis Care Silver Gardens, the Davenport House, and within her own community of sisters. 

She also chauffeured her sisters to doctor appointments, vacations, and many other destinations. For 50+ years at Easter, Sr. Julia made the Paschal Candle for the Benedictine Sisters’ chapel and for the Providence Benedictine Nursing Center. Her candles are still being used today throughout the monastery.

Sr. Julia was preceded in death by her parents, William and Margaret; her brothers, William and John; and sisters, Margaret and Mary. She is survived by her many nieces and nephews, cousins, and her monastic community, the Benedictine Sisters of Mt. Angel.

A prayer vigil was held June 17 and a Mass of Christian Burial on June 18, followed by her burial in the monastery cemetery. Gifts to the Benedictine Sisters Retirement Fund are graciously accepted in memory of Sr. Julia to Benedictine Sisters, 840 S. Main St., Mount Angel, OR 97362.

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