Msgr Quinn WO Border 2

Profile: Monsignor Joseph Quinn


The Quinn family - immediate and extended - has long been more than favorably impacted by the truly extraordinary IHM Sisters. Over the course of the last sixty years or so, our lives and our faith have been wondrously graced by the selfless labors of so many of them in their remarkable years of service at Nativity of Our Lord School, Marywood Seminary, South Scranton Catholic High School, Marywood University and well beyond. 

I am one of twelve children of Dr. John and June Quinn. My father's brother, Thomas, and his wife, Isabel, had fourteen children. We all were born and raised on River Street in South Scranton where all twenty-six of us attended Nativity School during the fifties, sixties, and seventies of the last century. 

With immensely grateful hearts, we remember fondly the genuine love, compassionate concern, and competent care of outstanding IHM Sisters Daria, Delphina, Bertha, Maria Theophane, Leo Marie, David Mary, Rose Angela and so many others. In the years that followed our time at Nativity, many of the women in our families would have their entire outlooks on life further shaped and launched by such inspiring figures as IHM Sisters Gabriel Kane, Marianne Addy, Maryla Farfour, Adrian Barrett, Coleman Née, Mary Reap and countless others like them.

Sister M. Daria McGinn, I.H.M., however, will always remain as one of our core heroes of faith. Many of us had her as our first grade teacher during her many years at Nativity. In 1956, she was the very first nun I would meet in my lifetime. And to this day, I marvel at her amazing spirit of joy, her unflinching focus on the great privilege that it is to serve God and the truly lasting and profound impact her life has had and continues to have on so many souls fortunate enough to have had her as a teacher and friend. To think that Sister Daria has lived her lived as an IHM sister for more than 75 years is astounding! To reflect on how she has done it is even more inspirational. How blessed we all are to have this living saint in our midst!

In a recent visit with her at the Pascucci Family Our Lady of Peace Residence, I told her that I when I look back at her years at Nativity that I am in absolute awe of her singular gifts and talents.  Each and every year, she had some 55 to 60 students in her class!  I said to her that I still find it hard to believe that she could do that without the benefit of any teachers' aides. With her quick wit and consistent humor -even at the age of 97 years young- Sister Daria said: "Aides??? We had no room for them! We had no aisles!!!"

Still, she taught us all the foundations of our educations. We learned how to count and to print. We learned how to think and to speak. We learned how to be respectful and grateful. We learned how to love God and one another. And we learned the dignity and worth of each and every person. And she so cared for all of us that, to this very day, when I share with her our 1964 Graduation Class picture, Sister Daria can give the full name of each student in that photo! Talk about the depth and fullness of her having invested her life and love in every single one of the students entrusted to her generous care and formation. That alone is enough reason to bring tears to one's eyes.

Anyone who ever had Sister Daria as a teacher can never forget her. One touching example relates to the recent celebration of her 75th Jubilee Anniversary. To kindly acknowledge those who were with her on that day or who had sent her a remembrance, the lovely thank you note she opted to use was designed by a living former student of hers whom Sister Daria had taught in 1943! 

We all need people in our lives who can never be nor ever should be forgotten. We all need inspirational heroes of faith and fervor. We all need models to emulate and examples to follow. Sister Daria is undeniably one of those angels from on high whom God has sent to help us all in our earthly pilgrimages homeward. 

May her life's story of amazing graces lived so selflessly well continue to inspire, motivate, and help us all to do the same!


After completing high school, college, graduate, and post-graduate studies, Msgr. Joseph G. Quinn, J.D., J.C.L., became a lawyer, U.S. Magistrate Judge, priest of the Diocese of Scranton, Vice President of Fordham University, and currently serves as Pastor of Our Lady of the Snows Parish in Clarks Summit, Pennsylvania.