Sister Mary Maristell (Mary Elizabeth) Schanen, 93

Sister Mary Maristell (Mary Elizabeth) Schanen, died, July 6, 2012, at St. Francis Convent in Little Falls.

A Mass of Christian Burial was held at St. Francis Convent Friday, July 13, 2012.

Sister Mary Maristell was born Feb. 19, 1919, in Cohasset. She was the first of six children born to the late William and Cecelia (Kearney) Schanen. She was accepted as a Franciscan Sister of Little Falls, Aug. 12, 1948. She made her first profession of vows Aug. 12, 1950, and final vows, Aug. 12, 1953. She was a Franciscan Sister for 63 years. Sister Maristell lived her life with an intensity of appreciation for the good, the true and the beautiful. She had a deep understanding and gratitude for all the experiences into which she was led by Divine Providence in her life’s journey. She held herself to the high ideals that she gathered from her parents, her faith and her religious Community. She made the spirit of St. Francis her very own by being, as Francis directed his followers, “To be Mothers of the Lord by bearing the Word in your hearts and giving birth to Him in the world.” She had a singular trust in the mystery of the Indwelling Trinity and work of the Spirit acting in and through everything that exists. She knew with all her heart that, “He Who has begun a good work in you will carry it onto completion.” (St. Paul’s letter to Philippians.) Sister Maristell received a Bachelor’s degree from the College of St. Teresa, Winona, and a Master’s degree and a Doctorate from St. Mary’s College, Notre Dame, Ind. She also studied at St. Bonaventure University, St. Bonaventure, NY, and the School of Applied Theology, Berkeley, Calif. Except for two years working in a public library, Sister Maristell ministered throughout her life in education; both formally as a teacher in high schools, college and religious education; and informally in Franciscan renewal and as an administrative assistant with Catholic Relief Services, the East African Province of the Spiritan Fathers and Brothers and the Diocese of Zanzibar. She served in Little Falls; White Bear Lake, Duluth, Flensburg and Belle Prairie, Minn.; New York City, NY; Canon City, Colo.; Yemen Arab Republic; and Tanzania.

Sister Maristell was preceded in death by brothers, Joseph and William and her sister Theresa Hoolihan. Survivors include siblings, George, Manitowoc, Wis. Margaret (Russell) Havens, Summerville, S.C.; nieces and nephews; and her Franciscan Community.

Donations to Franciscan Sisters Ministries preferred.