Posted January 27, 2023 in Obituaries
A Mosaic of Gratitude
“I am grateful for how God has accompanied me from the beginning of my life to this moment…a mosaic where each stone has its significance but together reflect something more than they are alone.” These words that Sister Mercia shared at the time of her Golden Jubilee are a profound reflection of the woman she was, ever faithful to God, committed to God’s people in myriad ways and filled with thanksgiving at all times.
Mary Katheryn Madigan was born to Joseph and Alice in Cleveland in 1936. She was raised in Gesu parish where she attended elementary school along with her brothers Joe, John and Mike. After graduating from Beaumont School for Girls in June of 1954, she entered the Ursuline Sisters in September and gave her whole heart in religious life for 67 years. As Sister Mercia, she attended Ursuline College and St. John College, earning her B.S.E. Later studies took her to the University of Notre Dame where she earned her M.A. in Theology.
Both her professional training and her natural abilities as a teacher saw her through many years as an educator. She served at St. Ann School, St. Mary School (Mentor), Villa Angela Academy and Lake Catholic High School. Her love of religious life served her well and was a blessing to younger sisters when she served as Director of Novices in the congregation. All of these experiences prepared her well for when she was appointed to the Pastoral Team at St. Mary Magdalene, an exceptional collaborative venture in the diocese. After that, she moved to the Akron area and was in parish ministry at St. Martha Parish and Blessed Trinity Parish.
While others may retire in their sixth and seventh decades of life, Sister Mercia continued at the parish level and also served on the motherhouse coordinating team, ministering to parishioners and her sisters with equal love and zeal. Even when significant illness challenged her stamina, she remained active, greeting visitors to Merici Crossings as a receptionist, volunteering on a congregational Derby Day committee and visiting regularly with sisters who respected her wisdom, humor and faith.
Sister Mercia spent the final months of her life enrolled in hospice care through Hospice of the Western Reserve while residing at Regina and Ames Family Hospice House. She marveled at the steady stream of family, friends, former students and sisters who spent hours in conversation with her. As a woman of deep humility, she was moved deeply by the love she received.
On Thursday, January 26th at Ames House, Sister Mercia peacefully entered into the final grace of God’s everlasting presence. Beloved as she was, she will be missed by her sisters-in-law Marilyn and Peggy, her many nieces and nephews and the Ursuline Sisters. It is easy to hear her echoes of faith still resounding in words she spoke earlier in life, words that challenge us to keep her alive in how we embrace each day: “In every new experience I have broadened my view of God’s mosaic. I am deeply grateful for these years I have lived as an Ursuline and for all those who have touched my life. ‘For all that has been, thanks. For all that will be, yes.’*” (*adapted from Dag Hammarskjöld)
Services for Sister Mercia will be held at Church of the Gesu, 2470 Miramar Blvd., University Heights.
Memorial donations may be made to the Ursuline Sisters of Cleveland @ www.ursulinesisters.org/donate
Arrangements by Schlute & Mahon Murphy Funeral Home.