In Memory of Sister Matthew Cunningham

May 24, 1920 – September 1, 2018

Sister Mary Matthew Cunningham, 98, daughter of John and Anna (Mahoney), was born Mary Catherine Cunningham on May 24, 1920, in Albert Lea, Minnesota. She entered the Sisters of the Presentation from Clare, Iowa, on September 8, 1938, and professed her perpetual vows on July 31, 1944.

She received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Loras College in Dubuque, Iowa, and studied music at the American Conservatory in Chicago, Illinois. Sister Matthew’s ministries took her to Ryan, Fairbank, Algona, Farley, Charles City, Storm Lake, Waukon, Mason City, and Whittmore, all in Iowa and Winner, South Dakota, where for over 50 years, she taught piano, organ and instrumental music in Catholic elementary and high schools.

Sister Matthew retired to Mount Loretto in 1995 and continued to share her musical talents for several years accompanying the sisters at Eucharist and Liturgy of the Hours. She enjoyed music, word puzzles, and the Chicago Cubs. She celebrated her 80th Jubilee in August and reflecting on her years of religious life, Sister Matthew states, “This jubilee celebrates a life that brings me closer to God and more able to do God’s will.”

She is survived by the Sisters of the Presentation with whom she shared her life for 80 years. She is preceded in death by her parents, her brother Don and sister, Sister Joan Cunningham, CSJ.

Memorials may be made to the Sisters of the Presentation, 2360 Carter Road, Dubuque, Iowa, 52001, or online at