Sr. Marian McNally – 70 Years
Sister Marian is a native of Brooklyn, New York, and, after high school, worked as a secretary at a Wall Street investment firm. “I wasn’t thinking about religious life at all,” she says, “but I went to a single women’s mission given by the Redemptorist Fathers and I felt touched by God.”
She hadn’t known any Sisters other than those in her parish, but a friend gave her a copy of the Mission Helpers magazine and a story about Puerto Rico touched her heart.
Marian visited the Community’s convent in Brooklyn and joined the young women’s Guild. She eventually decided to join the Community but acceded to her father’s wish that she wait a year. On November 5, 1950, she boarded a train for Baltimore.
Sister Marian’s early years as a Mission Helper were spent in religious education ministry, teaching children of all ages, training adults to teach religion and helping parents prepare their children for the sacraments. She carried out this ministry in Ohio, Florida, Arizona, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, New York and Texas.
In Wilmington, Delaware, she traveled throughout the region, training catechists who ran schools of religion for public school children. Later, she taught religion to the hearing impaired and the mentally challenged in Delaware, New Jersey, Maryland and Massachusetts.
Beginning in 1979, she served for eight years as a patient advocate at Good Samaritan Hospital in Baltimore, followed by seven years in ministry to the sick and aging at Saints Philip and James in Baltimore.
In her last 11 years of full-time ministry, she worked with the elderly, the sick, the dying and the bereaved at Sacred Heart Parish in LaPlata, Maryland.
Since retirement from full-time ministry Sister Marian has enrolled in art classes at a local senior center and has found she has a gift for watercolor. “Things turn out nicely,” she says, “and I’m able to sell my paintings and raise money for our missions.”
She’s a resident of St. Elizabeth Hall Retirement Community and visits with elderly, infirm patients at nearby Stella Maris. Being a Lay Eucharistic Minister, she brings Holy Communion to those in the rehabilitation area who cannot attend Mass.
Sister Marian holds a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Loyola University Maryland and a master’s degree from Seattle University. She says her life has been “a journey with God, with all its ups and downs, mysteries, sufferings and joy.”