Aug. 21, 1909 Los Angeles Los Angeles County California, USA
May 11, 2005 Alameda County California, USA
Sr. Marie Lehner, O.P. Theresa Maria Lehner was born on August 21, 1909 in Los Angeles and baptized on September 20 at the Old Plaza Church. She was an only child.
After her graduation from Sacred Heart Academy, Theresa entered the Dominican Convent at Mission San Jose on August 11, 1926. The following May 5, she received the Dominican habit and the name Sister Mary Theophane of the Sorrowful Mother. (In 1967 Sister returned to her baptismal name of "Marie.") During her novitiate year Sister had to leave to care for her mother who was ill.
Following her mother's death some months later, Sister returned to the Congregation and made her profession on August 15, 1929. Sister Marie was already an excellent student and, therefore, was assigned to prepare for a teaching ministry which began at Saint Mary of the Palms, Mission San Jose. For the next 39 years Sister served nine years as an elementary teacher followed by another thirty in secondary schools from Portland, Oregon, to the Bay Area and finally to Southern California before her retirement in 1970. Sister's assignments read like a Mission San Jose educational tapestry--or like "musical chairs" as she termed it. Saint Elizabeth Elementary and High Schools, Oakland; Saint James and Immaculate Conception Academy, San Francisco; Immaculate Heart and Immaculata/Marycrest, Portland; Sacred Heart High, Los Angeles; San Gabriel Mission High, San Gabriel; Saint Michael High, Los Angeles. At Immaculate Heart, Sister was Principal; and for a year served as Vice Principal at Saint Elizabeth High. Although Sister Marie's graduate work was in political science and history at the Catholic University of America, she taught courses in many other subject areas, directed yearbook activities, and at the time of our 75th anniversary celebration led one of the choral groups at Saint Mary's Cathedral. At her retirement in 1970 Sister began her second career as librarian at Saint Michael's High School, earning her library credential the following summer. Her longest ministry took place at Flintridge Sacred Heart from 1974 until 2003 where she served as receptionist and for some years ESL tutor for foreign resident students. To prepare for this, Sister entered the Laubach California Literacy Program.