S. Margaret Rose Smyth Honored September 8, 2023

Rural and Migrant Ministry Honors Sister Margaret Rose Smyth

Rural & Migrant Ministry (RMM) honored the legacy of Sister Margaret Rose Smyth at the Farmworker Celebration & Walk on Sunday September 24, 2023, at the Sisters of St. Joseph in Brentwood. “Sister Margaret was a tireless advocate for social justice, particularly for the Latino community and farmworkers on Long Island,” wrote Richard Witt, Executive Director, Rural & Migrant Ministry, Inc. “Her impact was felt throughout the region and her work was a true inspiration to many.”

Sister Margaret Rose Smyth Honored

“RMM continues Sister Margaret’s mission,” he continued. They work to empower and advocate for the rights of farmworkers and other marginalized rural immigrants in New York State. This organization offer programs of education and empowerment to hundreds of workers and their children as well as to our thousands of allies, including several thousand congregations. Click here for more information.


Some of our sisters attended the event including Sisters Diane Capuano, Regina Corde Hockenberry, Flor Buruca, Helen Mulbauer, Diane Morgan, Emily Masse and S. Honora Nolty.

The Executive Director of the program Richard Witt had this to say about our own Sister Margaret: “Sister Margaret Smyth, or Hermana Margarita as she was affectionately known, blazed the trail for the presence of Rural & Migrant Ministry on Long Island. I first met Sister Margaret over twenty years ago, and was struck by her fierce loyalty to farmworkers on the East End of Long Island. Years later, as RMM launched the Justice For Farmworkers Campaign, it took little to convince the general population of the plight of farmworkers because of the work of Sister Margaret, who built upon the work of Cesar Chavez…With her passing, there is a huge gap in support for the arriving and existing immigrants into the region, a gap that will take multitudes of people to fill. RMM remains committed to partnering with the Spanish Apostolate and others to ensure that the ministry, love and passion of Sister Margaret is carried forth. In the meantime, we offer our thanksgivings for her presence and witness.”

Sister Margaret Smyth is also mentioned in a Newsday Guest Essay by Rev. John I. Cervini. He speaks about working with S. Margaret to serve immigrant parishioners saying, “Sister Margaret devoted her life to charitable service of immigrants and all people in need. But she also worked for justice, advocating to change political and economic structures like our broken immigration laws. She believed, as I do, that justice is what love looks like in public.” Her legacy lives on and the preaching continues.


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