Sister Maria Joseph Corbett, CSJ, was born on April 12, 1926, in Brooklyn, NY, the daughter of the late Joseph A. and Catherine V. Corbett. On August 15, 1944, Kathleen Corbett entered the Sisters of St. Joseph of Wheeling. On March 19, 1945, she received the habit and the name Sister Maria Joseph; she professed her perpetual vows on March 19, 1950.
When she reflected on her vocation, she said that growing up in a New York Irish family as I did, practicing our faith was important. When I was five years old, at my mother’s request, I accompanied my grandmother to daily Mass. I received a Catholic school education from grade school through high school. Vocations to religious life were part of my family story. My great uncle was John Corbett, S.J. Sr. Xavier Rosaire Corbett, a Mt. St. Vincent Sister of Charity, was my aunt. In the second grade, I made the decision to be a sister. The Amityville Dominican sisters taught me in elementary and high school. Five other communities were my educators in my junior and senior years. As a senior, I chose the Sisters of St. Joseph of Brentwood, but God directed me instead to Wheeling, West Virginia. My father always told me, “The Sisters of St. Joseph are the only sisters who smile when you greet them on the street.”
She received her B.Ed. and M. Ed. in Library Science from Duquesne University. Sister also studied at Wake Forest, Fordham University, the University of Hawaii, and Pepperdine at Malibu. She taught in diocesan elementary and high schools for forty-two years. From 1964-1987, she was on the faculty of Notre Dame High School in Clarksburg, where she also served as faculty advisor for students competing in speech and debate. She traveled to many areas in the United States where her students competed in the National Catholic Forensics League Tournament.
Sister Maria Joseph served as a chairperson or as a member of numerous SSJ committees. For two terms she served on the SSJ General Council.
Sister Maria Joseph ministered at Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish in Stonewood from 1985-2010. She retired to Mount St. Joseph in 2011.
When asked about an important time in her religious life, Sister stated that when she began her ministry at OLPH, her experience of living alone for the first time in her religious life gave her an appreciation of SSJ community life and spirit and its importance to her. She sought ways to keep connected by phone calls, emails, monthly trips to Mount St. Joseph, and board meetings throughout the state. The SSJ Associate Program in Harrison County, WV was another important community connection. Through both the good and difficult times, the desire to be connected with my sisters has remained. Now at ninety-two years old, being a companion to the sisters in my C/SSJ congregation is both challenging and loved-filled. It has also given me opportunities to grow in my love relationship with the Triune God.
Her two brothers, Joseph and James J. Corbett, as well as her two sisters, Mary V. Jones and Joan C. Colgan, are deceased. Sister has nieces, nephews and grandnieces and grandnephews.
Family and friends will be received from 1:00 to 9:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 26, 2018, at Mount St. Joseph, 137 Mount St. Joseph Road, Wheeling, where Vigil Services will be held at 7:00 p.m. Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11:00 a.m. on Thursday, December 27, 2018 in the Mount St. Joseph Chapel with Fr John Ledford as celebrant. Interment will be in the Sisters of St. Joseph section at Mount Calvary Cemetery, Wheeling.
Memorial contributions may be made to the Congregation of St. Joseph – Wheeling Center, 137 Mount St. Joseph Road, Wheeling, WV 26003. Funeral arrangements by Altmeyer Funeral Home, 1400 Eoff Street, Wheeling.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.altmeyerfuneralhomes.com