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Sr Marie Therese "Virginia" Alaimo
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Birth: Aug. 9, 1928
Monroe County
New York, USA
Death: Jul. 24, 2009
Monroe County
New York, USA

Sister Marie Therese Alaimo, SSND

First Profession August 3, 1949
Baltimore, Maryland

Virginia Therese Alaimo was born on August 9, 1928, in Rochester, N.Y., and baptized at St. Anthony Parish there on March 19, 1929. Her father, Samuel, was a native of Argrigento, Italy, and a buyer for Rochester Market; her mother, Mary Pitisi, was a native of France. The family already included two girls, Carmel and Mary; another girl had died an hour after birth.

Virginia was educated by SSNDs at Holy Family School in Rochester from 1934 to 1942. She remembered the "happiest event during this time was my First Holy Communion. How well I remember going home and telling my baby sister all about ‘Little Jesus.' " Bishop James E. Kearney confirmed Virginia in the sixth grade. Her desire to teach was constantly on her mind during the last three years of grade school.

Virginia was looking forward "to four years at Nazareth High, but with the coming of August all plans were changed. I had applied to the Notre Dame Juniorate. It is strange how God calls us, and to this day I still can't explain how it all happened.

"When I sought my parents' consent, mother then told me of her promise to the Little Flower the day I was born. I was to be baptized Therese but my father, not knowing this, named me Virginia. Fearing for my life, my mother explained to St. Therese that she knew when I grew up I would wish to serve God in religion, and this privilege should not be denied to her child by taking her away in death. To this day, my mother strongly believes that the grace of my vocation came through the intercession of the Little Flower."

September 16, 1942, found Virginia entering the gates of Holy Angels Academy in Fort Lee, N.J. She mentions in her autobiography that the four happy years of training under "dear Sister M. Dosithea" strengthened her vocation to Notre Dame. On August 27, 1946, she received the candidate's bonnet at Holy Family Church, only to "enjoy every day" of the candidature at Aisquith Street for just three weeks.

On September 18, 1946, Virginia was told that she would accompany another candidate to Washington, DC to study music. Her two years as candidate were spent as a student at Catholic University. The first year she resided at St. Mary Convent in Washington; during the second, she commuted from the motherhouse in Baltimore.

July 16, 1948, was Reception Day for Virginia and her class; she received the name Marie Therese. Just before this milestone, she wrote with youthful idealism, "This Order attracted me by the example of the many sisters I have had in school, all of whom possessed the same self-sacrificing spirit in the love of Christ." On August 3, 1949, and on the same date in 1955, her class pronounced first and final vows.

Sister Marie Therese's records show that she was awarded two B.A. degrees in 1963: one in music education from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland, and the other in organ and piano from the Catholic University of America. In 1973, the University of Rochester conferred on her an M.A. in education/curriculum and administration.

For 20 years at the beginning of her ministerial life, Sister Marie Therese was director of music at Madonna School in Fort Lee, NJ. This obedience included many duties besides her classroom teaching. She was organist in the parish church, gave private music lessons, and was also responsible for sacristy work. She left this mission in 1969 to become principal of Holy Redeemer School in Rochester, NY, and local leader of the community for five years.

From 1974 to 1985, Sister Marie Therese taught junior high grades at St. Philip Neri School in Rochester. At both Holy Redeemer and here, she offered religious instruction to children outside of school time.

In the summer of 1974, Sister Marie Therese attended the renewal program for silver jubilarians in Rome with her class. She was twice a delegate to the Wilton provincial chapter, serving between 1978 and 1982.

From 1985 to 2000, Sister Marie Therese was a pastoral associate at St. Cecilia Parish in Irondequoit.

When Philip Neri School, and then the convent, closed, the SSND community moved to a house on Lafayette Road near St. Cecilia's. Until 2003, Sister Marie Therese was still offering volunteer service there.

Sister Marie Therese died at Rochester General Hospital from an infection in her blood stream in the last minutes of July 24.

(School Sisters of Notre Dame, Atlantic-Midwest Province)

Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord!
Family links: 
  Samuel Alaimo (1896 - 1972)
  Mary Pitisi Alaimo (1903 - 1988)
Holy Sepulchre Cemetery
Monroe County
New York, USA
Plot: Section Col/Fi, Lot/Tier 189, Grave #C1
Created by: AnnieSings
Record added: Oct 29, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 43680051
Sr Marie Therese Virginia Alaimo
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Added by: Glenn
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Eternal rest grant unto her, O Lord!
 Added: May. 15, 2015
"I solemnly commend all the sisters to the most Holy Trinity....May Mary, the mother of divine grace and mother of our congregation, take you all into her loving, maternal heart and stand by you in life and in death!" Blessed M. Theresa Gerhardinger, SSND
 Added: May. 9, 2015

 Added: May. 9, 2015
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