Obituary: Franciscan Sister Maureen Kelly

Franciscan Sister Maureen Kelly, 90, died Nov. 20 at St. Francis Convent, Little Falls. A private burial service was held Nov. 21. A memorial Mass will be celebrated at a later date with family and friends.

Maureen was born April 3, 1930, in Minneapolis to Thomas and Hanna (Holst) Kelly, the first of two girls. Maureen and her sister, Barbara, attended Our Lady of the Angels Academy in Belle Prairie and later St. Francis High School in Little Falls.  

She was accepted as a Franciscan Sister of Little Falls on Aug. 12, 1948, and given the name Sister Mary Michaelyn. She was a Franciscan sister for 72 years.

Sister Maureen earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul; a master’s certificate in religious education from Corpus Christi College, London, England; and a master’s degree in religious studies/spirituality from Gonzaga University in Spokane, Washington.

She was an elementary teacher and principal as well as a pastoral and spirituality/retreat minister. She was also a core member of the original Franciscan House of Prayer, a regional director and assistant minister in her Franciscan Community.

Sister Maureen served in the Diocese of St. Cloud and Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis; Selmer, Tennessee; and at Berakah House of Prayer in Pittsfield, New Hampshire. She also worked in ecumenical ministry at St. John’s University in Collegeville where she ministered with and became a close friend of the renowned priest and professor Henri Nouwen.

She was preceded in death by her parents and sister, Barbara Walther, and is survived by nieces Ann Doyle and Nancy Walther, nephew Allen Walther, close friend Joanne Wessman and her Franciscan Community.

Donations preferred to Franciscan Sisters ministries.

Author: The Central Minnesota Catholic

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

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