Alberta Hanayo Cefra was born on November 25, 1933, the fifth of eight children of Urbano Cefra and Sadame Lillian Ueno. Alberta attended Palolo Elementary School and graduated from Kaimuki High School in 1951. Alberta entered the Congregation of the Sacred Hearts at Sacred Hearts Convent on August 5, 1960. In religious life, Alberta took the religious name of Sr. Joseph Mary and made first profession on February 2, 1963 at Sacred Hearts Convent, Nuuanu. Sr. Joseph Mary would have celebrated her Diamond Jubilee, 60 years of dedication to the Sacred Hearts of Jesus and Mary in 2023. For 58 of her 60 years, Sr. Joseph Mary was busy in the classroom as a teacher, tutor and as a missionary in Japan and the Philippines. She had many teaching assignments beginning in 1963 to 1971 at Sacred Hearts Academy, in 1972-1976 at Sacred Hearts Convent, at St. Patrick from 1976-1985, teaching the littlest ones in Kindergarten how to love God and how to read and write. She was very attentive to her students and had a marvelous memory for the names of the children she taught.
In 1989, Sr. Joseph Mary answered the call to be a missionary to Japan. Again, she attended to the needs of the children, her neighbors and the people with whom she worked especially in Tsukuba and Tomobe. Like Mary, she held the needs of people in her heart bringing to prayer their birthdays, anniversaries and special needs. Again, she had an extraordinary memory for these things. She loved to do embroidery and needle point and would frame them and give them to people as gifts.
Sister served 7 years in Japan and another 4 in the formation house in the Philippines. In 2000, Sister Joseph Mary returned to Hawaii and in 2003 she joined the Paewalani/Puawakea community ministering at St. Ann Parish and School and lastly, tutoring students at St. Patrick School until she retired in May 2022.
An intrepid walker, Sister climbed Mount Fuji twice when she was in Japan and walked and caught the bus wherever she went in Honolulu. Sister is survived by her sister Rose Cefra, niece Annette Brewer and nephew Jonathan Urakawa and several other nieces and nephews.
Funeral services for Sr. Joseph Mary will be held at St. Patrick Church on Thursday, January 19. There will be Public Viewing at 8:30 a.m.; Rosary at 9:30 a.m., Eulogies at 10:30 a.m., Funeral Mass at 11:00 a.m. and Burial at Hawaiian Memorial Park at 1:00 p.m.
A true child of the Sacred Hearts, Sr. Joseph Mary will be truly missed by all who knew her and loved her.
Arrangements Provided By: Nuuanu Memorial Park & Mortuary LLC
Notice #: 0001401335-01