More than a half-century ago, Anne Lynch went to work in the nursery at Mercy Medical Center in Rockville Centre.
There, she met religious sisters from the Congregation of the Infant Jesus who founded the hospital - the first Roman Catholic hospital on Long Island. She was so impressed by the sisters, she joined them. She went on to spend the next 65 years working with the order, also known as Nursing Sisters of the Sick Poor.
Sister Lynch, 91, originally a resident of Hempstead, died Sunday. She "was a very compassionate, self-giving person," said Sister Dolores Wisniewski, president of the order.
Formerly known as Sister Mary Paul, she had training in infant care when she arrived at Mercy Medical Center and went to work as a lay nurse. By 1945 she had entered the congregation, and on April 10, 1950, she made her final profession.
She started studying, and in 1953 graduated from the Mary Immaculate Hospital School of Nursing. In 1968 she received a master's degree in nursing from the same school. She worked at Mercy Medical from 1954 to 1962 as a nurse and as a supervisor in the nursery. Wisniewski said that Sister Lynch, in her work over the years, often dealt with prematurely born babies, which required special attention and care not always easy to provide.
From 1963 to 1968 Sister Lynch served as Mistress of Junior Professed for the order. She then returned to the medical center, staying until 2000. She served as assistant administrator and assistant vice president from 1986 to 2000. In 1982 she was also named president of the Nassau/Suffolk Health Care Associates. During her time at the hospital, she also served as a mentor to students studying health administration.
When she retired from the medical center in 2000, the Board of Governors "acknowledged with appreciation" the five decades "of loyalty, dedication and deep compassion" she provided to the hospital, its patients, their families and the hospital's employees, the congregation said in a statement.
Sister Lynch is survived by a brother, Eugene Lynch, many nieces and nephews, and great nieces and nephews, the congregation said. A wake is planned today, 2-4 p.m. and 7-9 p.m. at the order's center at 984 North Village Ave. in Rockville Centre, next to the hospital. A funeral Mass is planned for Wednesday at 9:30 a.m.