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)
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