Sr. Marie Hogan

Sr. M. St. Catherine

Born::  Winnipeg, Manitoba, 21/04/1916
Postulancy::Regina, Saskatchewan, 01/10/1933
Novitiate:: Regina, Saskatchewan, 02/02/1934
1st Profession:: Regina, Saskatchewan, 03/02/1936
Final Vows::Regina, Saskatchewan, 03/02/1942
Died:: Regina, Saskatchewan, 19/11/2009

Sister Marie's parents, Thomas Hogan and Sarah McKeown, were born in Ireland, in Tipperary and Armagh respectively, and married in Canada. Marie Elizabeth was born in Winnipeg, eldest of eight girls and two boys. Some time later the family moved to Regina, where Mr. Hogan joined the police force. Sadly, their third daughter, Eileen Margaret, died in an accident when she was just three years old. When Police Officer Hogan arrived at the scene he found the victim was his daughter.

All the other children attended the Regina Separate Schools, followed by Campion College for the boys and Sacred Heart Academy for the girls. When Marie was sixteen she entered our novitiate at Sacred Heart College, making her vows when she was nineteen. A natural born teacher, Sister Mary St. Catherine, as she was then known, resumed her studies and entered the teaching profession. Studying by correspondence and summer school classes she obtained a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Ottawa and Teaching Certificates in Manitoba, where she taught at St. Michael's Academy in Brandon and St. Edward's School in Winnipeg, and in Ontario, where she taught in the Separate Schools in Sioux Lookout and Fort Frances, for a total of nearly 40 years. Sisters recall that her students liked her because she knew how to teach and was always fair and impartial.

At the age of twenty-seven Marie was appointed sub-prioress at St. Edward's Convent in Winnipeg and from then on served in various positions of authority and responsibility in the congregation - school principal, local superior, provincial councillor, regional superior, and, finally, for twelve years, provincial bursar, in which role she was much appreciated for her business acumen and unfailing accuracy.

Marie went to Europe three times, first to Hastings as a companion for the Provincial Superior; the second time to Dublin to attend the profession of her cousin, Margaret McKeown (Sister Mary Goretti) - with a side trip to Rome; and, in 1984, to Rome again to attend the Spiritual Life session in Via dei Laghi, Castelgandolfo. In 1996, after her retirement from the office of Provincial Bursar, Marie had a SARA sabbatical, part of which she spent in Concordia, Kansas, part in Queen Grove and Elberon, New Jersey. Real retirement came in 1998 when she returned to Saskatchewan, living first in Lebret and then in Regina with the community on 22nd Avenue, then at the Cathedral Courts.

In July, 2008, ill health, which was Marie's constant companion through most of her busy life, obliged her to move into nursing care at Santa Maria Senior Citizens' Home where she was a patient for sixteen months. At first Sister was able to engage in many of the activities offered, but gradually both breathing and eating became more difficult and, on November 17, 2009, she was admitted to Emergency at the General Hospital with heart and respiratory failure.

Marie had a compassionate care order and was given a private room and every attention to make her last hours as comfortable as possible. Sisters and family members gathered at her bedside that evening and Father Brad Fahlmann came to give her the Sacrament of the Sick. We stayed with her as much as possible for the next 24 hours when she became withdrawn, almost as if she wanted to be alone. Early in the morning of November 19, 2009 Sister went quietly Home.

Sister was devoted to her family as they were to her, holding her in deep affection and warm respect. It was a great sorrow to her each time one of her siblings passed away. At her bedside on the morning of her death her niece Cathy was heard to murmur, "The first born and the last to die."

Marie's funeral was celebrated in the chapel of Santa Maria Home on November 21, Fathers Ken Koep and Tonny Dizy presiding. Her nephew, Father Gary Kuntz, wanted to be with the family for this celebration and joined his cousins as pall-bearers. At a small reception following the Mass Sisters and family members shared memories of Marie. Many of these centred around her care for her family. One Sister recalled the first time she, as a young girl, saw Marie, newly professed, at her mother's funeral, walking down the aisle of the Cathedral, one little sister on each side, tucked under her mantle with her arms around them. Nieces and nephews reminded one another of what a fierce competitor their aunt was at both cards and scrabble. Everyone remembered her love for sports and especially her loyalty and devotion to the Toronto Blue Jays.

Marie was remembered by the Sisters for her grace-filled attention to detail - not only to class assignments and bookkeeping chores but to other "little unremembered acts". Good sense, attentive care for others, gentle consideration for the elderly, compassion for those who grieved, and simple dignity in times of adversity marked her life. As several put it, "She was always a lady". This was true in the real sense of that word. May she rest in peace. We shall continue to miss her.

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