Sr Margaret Mary Dowling

Sr Margaret Mary Dowling

Detroit, Wayne County, Michigan, USA
Death 10 Sep 2006 (aged 78)
Monroe, Monroe County, Michigan, USA
Burial Monroe, Monroe County, Michigan, USA
Memorial ID 21842975 · View Source
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Remembering Margaret Mary (Annuncia) Dowling, IHM

Aug. 5, 1928 - Sept. 10, 2006

Sister Margaret Mary wrote, "From the time I was a youngster, I was happiest when I was helping someone else." Embodied in our title: "Sisters, Servants…" Margaret Mary was servant to all. Recently, Sister said, "I worry that I am not always good to everyone."

Margaret Mary was born to John Dowling and Mary Ellen McEvoy on Aug. 5, 1928. She has one younger sister, Helen. Mr. and Mrs. Dowling had come from Ireland and were married at St. Ambrose Church on Detroit's east side. The family attended St. Martin Parish, also on the east side of Detroit. It was there that Margaret Mary and Helen attended school. In later years, Helen and Margaret Mary visited the homeland of their parents, Ireland.

As a child, Margaret Mary liked to roller skate, enjoyed playing the piano and going to Belle Isle. Margaret Mary was very close to her father, who was a bus driver for the Detroit Street Railway. On occasion, she would meet her dad downtown and ride with him on his last run. As a teenager she volunteered at Bon Secours Hospital in Detroit.

Margaret Mary had wanted to enter the congregation for a long time. The day came on June 30, 1946, when she became a postulant. About six months later she was received into the novitiate. She was given the name, Sister Annuncia; she loved her name because of her great devotion to Mary.

In September 1949, she began her career in education as a primary and middle grade teacher at St. Hugo, Bloomfield, Mich.; she taught in other schools in Michigan, Ohio, and Chicago. For eight of these years, she taught at St. Mary School in Monroe. There she was an outstanding presence. She taught children, followed the ill to the hospital, and followed the students' sports program. She was interested in every event in each parishioner's life.

From 1979-1988, she served as principal at St. Joseph Elementary School, Trenton, Mich. These were very happy years for her. She wrote, "Serving at St. Joseph's was one of the most significant events in my life." It was a deep disappointment to her not to continue in education when she became ill in 1988. At that time she wrote in her commitment form, "My community is my life, my home, and my love. Whatever I can do to help, I am more than willing to do." We all remember how she continued to be of service in so many ways to the community. Margaret Mary took charge of the fourth floor infirmary kitchen, helping to keep everything in its place!

In 1981, when she was first principal, the associate superintendent, Sister Catherine Olds, O.P., wrote, "As a principal, she was recognized for her firmness, but also her kindness. She is concerned about each student, teacher and parent."

Eva Schoell, IHM, was a great support during Margaret Mary's years as principal and continued to support her throughout the disappointment of not being able to continue. Leaving education to retire was a very stressful time for her. Sister Rose Ange Leddy, IHM, was also a strong support to Margaret Mary during these years. Rose Ange saw a new side to Margaret Mary; she saw a woman who was gracious and hospitable, and conversational. It seemed like her ability to deal with short-term relationships as principal was a growth-producing challenge for her.

On her page of life, Margaret Mary wrote about her great desire for the IHM community to unite in charity. "Listen to its members," she wrote. "Talk out the situation and make decisions together. All of us need to pray for true charity and justice among the members."

As I was gathering information about Margaret Mary, it was noted that at the time of the death of St. Therese, the Little Flower, her sisters wondered what they would be able to say about this quiet, unassuming nun who had just gone to God. There was little evidence in her life of her holiness and whatever it was that she went so quietly about. Likewise, perhaps none of us is aware of the deep spirituality and nearness to God of our dear, quiet unassuming sister, Margaret Mary.

Dear Margaret Mary, we have needed you. We have needed your witness to a quiet, unassuming, little way. For your simple presence among us, we are deeply grateful. Now, we pray, dear Sister:

May the blessing of the Arch of Heaven be over you.

May the blessing of the Abyss of Earth be under you.

May you be safe-kept in God's care.

(Celtic Blessing)

Written by Patricia A. O'Donnell, IHM

Read by Ruth Glaser, IHM

Sept. 12, 2006


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  • Created by: Vern H.
  • Added: 30 Sep 2007
  • Find A Grave Memorial 21842975
  • Find A Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for Sr Margaret Mary Dowling (5 Aug 1928–10 Sep 2006), Find A Grave Memorial no. 21842975, citing Saint Joseph Cemetery, Monroe, Monroe County, Michigan, USA ; Maintained by Vern H. (contributor 46798651) .