Obituary: Benedictine Sister Mary Jane Slaney

Sister Mary Jane (John Marie) Slaney, 96, died at St. Scholastica Convent, St. Cloud, June 18. A private service will take place at St. Benedict’s Monastery, St. Joseph, on June 22. A memorial Eucharist will be celebrated at a later date.

Sister Mary Jane Slaney was born Oct. 26, 1923, to Patrick Henry and Mary Fay (Ryan) Slaney in Melancthon Creek, Wisconsin, the first of four children. She attended St. Benedict’s Academy in St. Joseph, entered St. Benedict’s Monastery in 1938 and was received into the novitiate as Sister John Marie in June 1943.

She made first monastic profession in 1945 and perpetual monastic profession on July 11, 1948. She was one of the original group of sisters who volunteered to help found St. Bede Monastery, Eau Claire, Wisconsin, in 1948, and was a member of that community until 2010 when the St. Bede sisters merged back with St. Benedict’s Monastery.

She graduated from the College of St. Catherine, St. Paul, with a triple major in library science, history and elementary education. She received a master’s degree in instructional resources, an educational specialist degree in higher education, the adult learner and instructional resources; and a doctorate in secondary education, curriculum and instructional resources, all from the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. She also attended the College of St. Benedict, St. Joseph; St. Paul Diocesan Teachers’ College; Viterbo College, La Crosse, Wisconsin; University of Indiana, Bloomington; University of Wisconsin, Madison; University of Wisconsin, River Falls; and Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo.

Sister Mary Jane served both as an elementary education teacher and principal, teaching in St. Joseph and Breckenridge in Minnesota and in Eau Claire, Ellsworth, Altoona, Onalaska, La Crosse and Richland Center in Wisconsin. Later she turned to a second career in library and media services. As librarian, she worked in a variety of library services including at the College of St. Scholastica, Duluth, Minnesota; Regis High School in Eau Claire; and at Springfield Catholic High School in Springfield, Missouri. For many years, she continued to reside in Missouri, serving as pastoral minister at St. Agnes Cathedral in Springfield, working with elderly, sick, dying and homebound persons. On retirement, she continued to volunteer in related areas until her return to Minnesota in 2018, where she resided at St. Scholastica Convent.

In addition to the sisters in her Benedictine community, Sister Mary Jane is survived by many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, two brothers, Joseph and Thomas, and a sister, Kathleen.

Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Benson Funeral Home. Please direct memorial gifts to the Sisters of the Order of St. Benedict Outreach Ministries Fund.

Author: The Central Minnesota Catholic

The Central Minnesota Catholic is the magazine for the Diocese of St. Cloud.

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