Sister Maria Teresa de Bourbon, RDC, known as Sister Marie José, a member of the Sisters of the Divine Compassion for over 60 years, died peacefully on March 24, 2024 at Cabrini Nursing Home in Dobbs Ferry, NY after a long illness.

Sister Maria Teresa (“MT”) was born in Rome, Italy, the daughter of Fulco and Ana Vásquez de Bourbon. She was raised in Bogota, Colombia and New York, USA. “MT” met the Sisters of the Divine Compassion when she attended St. Lawrence O’Toole Elementary School in Brewster. Sister went on to St. Mary's High School in Katonah and Good Counsel College in White Plains. Sister entered the Congregation in 1956.

Sr. Maria Teresa earned a bachelor’s degree in Spanish at Good Counsel College and a master’s degree in Spanish from Middlebury College. Sister returned to school in the mid-nineties, earning an MSW from Adelphi University in 1996.

Sr. Maria Teresa began her ministry in 1957 at Good Counsel Elementary School in White Plains. Her school-based ministries included Preston and Kennedy Catholic High Schools. At the same time, Sister pursued activities that matched her desire to use her Spanish language and cultural gifts working with marginalized people in the Bronx, Harlem, Pawling and White Plains. In 1984, Sister began her full-time ministry in pastoral outreach, prison ministry and education among the Hispanic people in Newburgh, NY.

Sr. Maria Teresa “walked the talk” in her work among poor people and rarely missed an opportunity to speak for those who could not find a “place at the table.” In that respect, Sr. Maria Teresa was a prophet among us. Even in her last months at Cabrini of Westchester, when it was not clear what she was able process, Sister would perk right up at a Spanish greeting and managed to exchange a few words, usually with a twist of humor.

Sr. Maria Teresa’s life combined creativity and simplicity. Some of the sketches in her notebook became greeting cards, logos and more. Most notes and letters Sister sent had a freehand drawing of a particular detail she had seen in nature.

Sr. Maria Teresa was predeceased by her parents. Sister is survived by her Sisters of the Divine Compassion, her sister Marie Stone, her brothers Louis and Michael, cousins, nieces, nephews, and dear friends, Jane Keegan, RDC, Sharon Bayswater, and Donna Weintraub.

The wake for Sr. Maria Teresa de Bourbon will be Tuesday morning, April 2, 2024 from 9:30 am to 10:30 am in the Chapel of the Divine Compassion. The Ritual of Welcome will be at 10:30 am, followed by the Mass of Christian Burial at 11:00 am. Burial will be at Mt. Calvary Cemetery in White Plains following the Liturgy.

Memorial donations may be sent to the Sisters of the Divine Compassion, 52 N. Broadway, White Plains, NY 10603.