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Literally and figuratively tall in stature and standing, Sister Maureen opened many doors and broke many glass ceilings in American Catholic higher education for women, religious and laypersons because of her contributions at St. Xavier University, Mercy College of Detroit and University of Detroit Mercy. Thirty-one years after the bold collaboration of her and Fr. Robert Mitchell, S.J. to make Mercy College of Detroit and University of Detroit a strong Catholic institution, she leaves a legacy that will benefit tens of thousands of future leaders in Michigan, the United States and the world for decades. — Dr. Antoine Garibaldi, President, University of Detroit Mercy
In his tribute to Sister Maureen Fay, one of his predecessors, after her passing, Dr. Garibaldi was honoring the Adrian Dominican Sister who had helped direct the consolidation of Mercy College and the University of Detroit and served for twenty-one years in the institutions’ presidency.
Sister Maureen was born May 18, 1934, in Chicago to Michael and Anne (Whalen) Fay. Michael was an Irish immigrant from County Roscommon who had come to America at the age of eighteen, while Anne was a Chicago native but was the daughter of an immigrant from Galway, Ireland. According to a biographical sketch of herself that Sister Maureen wrote for an Irish publication in Detroit, family lore had it that Michael had left Ireland one step ahead of the British, who were hunting him for his involvement with the Irish Republican Army. Sister Maureen said in her 2016 “A Sister’s Story” video that when her father got to Ellis Island, he wrote down his name in such shaky handwriting that the immigration official could not read it – and so the family name, Fahey, became Fay.
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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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.
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We invite you to meet some of the wonderful women who have recently crossed into eternity.