Sister M. Ernestine Jeck, F.D.C. was called home to God on May 21, 2012. Born Josephine on October 16, 1916 in Manhattan, to Peter and Madelen Jeck. She was the youngest of three children. When she was just a baby her father died in a tragic accident and her mother needed child care for her little one. A friend told her that the Sisters who operate St. Mary’s Residence on 72 St. were opening a boarding school on what was then very rural Staten Island.
In 1934, drawn by the example of the Sisters who educated her and helped her mother raise her, Josephine entered the novitiate of the Daughters of Divine Charity and took the name Sister Mary Ernestine.
Her first teaching assignment after religious profession was in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. Subsequently she taught in several schools in the East and Midwest. In 1952, she returned to her home on Staten Island, St. Joseph Hill Academy.
Today, there are many women who have happy memories of Sister Ernestine as their third grade or fourth grade teacher. Those who experienced her kindness in their early years were happy when Sister was assigned to the high school faculty as a religious studies teacher and the librarian in 1958.
During her entire career, her primary objective was to teach her students about God’s love for them and to foster a personal relationship with Jesus.
Anyone who knew Sister Ernestine either as a teacher, librarian or friend could always count on her to a smile and a kind word.
We hope that Sister Ernestine’s smile is now glowing with the sight of the Lord whole loved her throughout her long life and that she will be present to us with her prayers as we try to be, like her, messengers of God’s abiding love and care. All of us, Sisters, family and friends, thank God for the gift of the life of this lovely Sister!