Sister June Clare Tracy, O.P., who served the archdiocese as regional superintendent of Manhattan Elementary Schools for 20 years and also held other leadership positions during her long and fruitful career in education, died Aug. 5 in Siena Hall at Dominican Convent, Sparkill. She was 78.
Sister June Clare held the Manhattan regional position until 2016, when she was appointed executive director of Catholic Identity for the archdiocese. She served in that capacity until last August. When that appointment was made, she told CNY, “Catholic Identity is the very basic foundation upon which our schools are built.”
When she became regional superintendent in 1996, Sister June Clare told Catholic New York, “The school is the heart of the parish; the school gives life to the parish. The values of our faith must be infused into everything we do throughout the school day.”
She was principal of St. Brendan School, the Bronx, 1982-1996; and taught at St. Theresa, the Bronx, 1969-1982; St. James, Carmel, 1967-1969; and St. Agnes Home and School, Sparkill, 1966-1967.
In announcing her death, the archdiocese’s Catholic school community remembered Sister June Clare by citing the words of Pope Francis at St. Patrick’s Catheral during his pastoral visit to the United States and Cuba in September 2015. “In the field of education alone, how many priests and religious played a central role, assisting parents in handing on to their children the food that nourishes them for life! Many did so at the cost of extraordinary sacrifice and with heroic charity…In a special way I would like to express my esteem and gratitude to the religious women of the United States. What would the Church be without you?”
Punctuating the pontiff’s words, Michael Deegan, superintendent of Catholic schools for the archdiocese, added, “Catholic schools and those that serve stand on the shoulders of those who came before them, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton, St. Frances Xavier Cabrini and now Sister June Clare Tracy, O.P.”
Born in Manhattan, she entered the Dominican Sisters of Sparkill in 1964. She made her final vows in 1975. She was formerly known as Sister Anne John. She held a bachelor’s degree in education from St. Thomas Aquinas College, Sparkill; a master’s in history from Fordham University; and an education doctorate in administration and supervision from St. John’s University.
Funeral arrangements were private. Interment will be at St. Agnes Cemetery, Sparkill.