With a father who was a judge and a mother who passed her own love of nature on to her children, Maureen Fenlon learned early on the importance of both social justice and caring for the Earth. These qualities shaped most of her life in ministry as an Adrian Dominican Sister.
Sister Maureen was born on May 29, 1943, in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, to James and Noel (Finlan) Fenlon. Her entrance into the world was not at all certain; Noel spent three days in labor and neither mother nor baby was expected to survive the ordeal. But survive they did, and Maureen became the fourth of five children born to the couple in less than five years: Brian in August 1940, Paul in May 1941, Dennis in April 1942, Maureen, and finally Shauna in June 1945. “We were close not only in age but as lively playmates,” she wrote.
James Fenlon and his brother were both attorneys who became judges, and Maureen said in her life story that listening to their conversations shaped in her a sense of fairness, justice, and compassion. Both men believed in leniency for the people they sentenced, she said, despite criticism from law enforcement, and “I learned a lot about social justice and it made me proud of them for their compassionate ways.”
Read more about Sister Maureen (pdf)
Memorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221.
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So very sorry to hear of Maureen's passing.I remember her most for her work on the PAB and in community investing, especially when she worked at OIKOCREDIT and roped me into service on that board. But...it was a great blessings for me to spend more time during those years.Blessings my friend.Pat Daly OP
Maureen Sister Shaun Paul, Fenlon is my first cousin. She leaves behind a lifetime of fond memories beginning in early childhood when I visited my five first cousins, which included her three brothers plus one younger sister, in Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan. We always had a fun time together, but we especially enjoyed visiting Hessel, on Lake Huron, where our grandmother Fenlon lived. We enjoyed boating through the Les Cheneaux Islands channels and laughing a lot! Later, as we matured ove the years, we were separated geographically throughout the country. Eventually, Maureen came to northern California and the US Navy brought my wife and I to Long Beach, in southern California. During these more recent years on the West Coast, we managed to connect when we came north or she came south. I always looked forward to Maureen's cards and newsy letters.She was good about writing. She also enjoyed filling n the details about the Fenlon family genealogy. She stayed in touch and kept us informed regarding her latest projects. Her demeanor was unfailingly upbeat, enthusiastic, and joyful. It was good to be with her. She surprised us with the variety and the significance of her latest creative projects that served mankind. She was a beautiful gift to us. She surely left the world a happier and better place. We were blessed to have known her. Thank God for the gift of Sister Shaun Paul who we knew as Maureen.
Our Adrian Dominican cemetery with its circular headstones is a beautiful place of rest for women who gave their lives in service to God—and a peaceful place for contemplation and remembrance.
We will post memorial reflections on our faithfully departed Sisters and Associates. If you would like to reflect on a Sister or Associate who has gone before us, please send your reflections – no more than 500 to 600 words – to
Sister Barb Kelley (firstname.lastname@example.org).
We invite you to meet some of the wonderful women who have recently crossed into eternity.