Sister Maureen Fenlon, formerly known as Sister Shaun Paul, died on Wednesday, March 27, 2019, at the Dominican Life Center in Adrian, Michigan. She was 75 years of age and in the 60th year of her religious profession in the Adrian Dominican Congregation.
Sister Maureen was born in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan, to James and Noel (Finlan) Fenlon. She graduated from St. Joseph Academy in Adrian, and received a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Siena Heights College (University) in Adrian and a Master of Social Work degree from Florida State University in Tallahassee, Florida.
Sister spent ten years ministering in elementary education in Chicago, Mundelein, Homewood, and Riverdale, Illinois. She also ministered for 32½ years in Tallahassee, Florida; San Rafael, San Quentin, Mill Valley, Santa Rosa, Oakland, Petaluma, and Idyllwild, California; Halifax, North Carolina; Arlington, Massachusetts; New York, New York; Washington, D.C.; and New Orleans, Louisiana.
Her ministries encompassed various aspects of social work, including serving as a farm worker; community organizer; executive director for Centerforce, an organization that provides services for prisoners and their families; and congressional staff member. During these years she was the interim national coordinator for NETWORK in Washington, D.C.; the developer of many visitor centers for families of prisoners; founder of Lydia, a women’s co-op program interchange; and national coordinator for the Dead Man Walking School Theatre Project with Sister Helen Prejean, CSJ.
Sister Maureen became a resident of the Dominican Life Center in Adrian in 2014. She was preceded in death by her parents and her brother, Reverend Brian Fenlon. She is survived by a sister, Shauna McCormick of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa; and two brothers, Dennis and Paul Fenlon of Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan.
Welcome of Sister Maureen will be on Tuesday, April 2, 2019, at 6:00 p.m. in the Dominican Life Center lobby; the Wake will follow from 6:15 to 7:00 p.m. in the Rose Room. The Reception of the Body and Vigil Prayer will be at 7:00 p.m. in St. Catherine Chapel. The Mass of Christian Burial will be offered in St. Catherine Chapel on Wednesday, April 3, 2019, at 10:30 a.m. Both the Vigil Prayer and the Mass of Christian Burial will be live streamed. The Rite of Committal will be in the Congregation cemetery.
Memorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221. Funeral arrangements are being handled by Anderson-Marry Funeral Home, Adrian.
From left: Sister Maureen with her father. From left, Sisters Elise Garcia, Marilyn Winter, Maureen Fenlon, Kathleen Schanz, Carol Coston, Esther Kennedy, and Rosemary Ferguson, 1998
From left: Sister Maureen, left, with Sister Helen Prejean, CSJ, author of Dead Man Walking. Sister Mary Elizabeth Beres, left, with Sister Maureen.
From left: Sister Maureen, in Bali, examines a carving, The Thinking Woman. Sister Maureen Fenlon, front, second from the right, joins her family to celebrate her Uncle Ned’s 100th birthday.
Left: Sister Maureen adjusts the sound at the 2006 Dominican High Schools Preaching Conference, held at Siena Heights University. Right: From left, Sister Maureen Fenlon, Berta Boegel, and Mary Keelty
Members of the 2008 Golden Jubilee, December Reception Crowd are: back row, from left, Sisters Mary Anne Yanz, Rita Eileen Dean, Margaret Augustine Exworthy, Charlotte Anne Swift, Carol Bollin, Barbara Matteson, Elizabeth Ann Demirgian, and Maureen Fenlon, and front row, from left, Sisters Sharon Beckmann, Patricia Stellmah, Phyllis Duffie, Joan Hinz, Mary Miday, Patricia Ann Dulka, Veronica Kelley, Lorraine Mordenski, and Judith Ann Nelson.
Leave your comments and remembrances (if you don't see the comment box below, click on the "Read More" link).
So very sorry to hear of Maureen's passing.I remember her most for her work on the PAB and in community investing, especially when she worked at OIKOCREDIT and roped me into service on that board. But...it was a great blessings for me to spend more time during those years.Blessings my friend.Pat Daly OP
Maureen Sister Shaun Paul, Fenlon is my first cousin. She leaves behind a lifetime of fond memories beginning in early childhood when I visited my five first cousins, which included her three brothers plus one younger sister, in Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan. We always had a fun time together, but we especially enjoyed visiting Hessel, on Lake Huron, where our grandmother Fenlon lived. We enjoyed boating through the Les Cheneaux Islands channels and laughing a lot! Later, as we matured ove the years, we were separated geographically throughout the country. Eventually, Maureen came to northern California and the US Navy brought my wife and I to Long Beach, in southern California. During these more recent years on the West Coast, we managed to connect when we came north or she came south. I always looked forward to Maureen's cards and newsy letters.She was good about writing. She also enjoyed filling n the details about the Fenlon family genealogy. She stayed in touch and kept us informed regarding her latest projects. Her demeanor was unfailingly upbeat, enthusiastic, and joyful. It was good to be with her. She surprised us with the variety and the significance of her latest creative projects that served mankind. She was a beautiful gift to us. She surely left the world a happier and better place. We were blessed to have known her. Thank God for the gift of Sister Shaun Paul who we knew as Maureen.
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.
We will post memorial reflections on our faithfully departed Sisters and Associates. If you would like to reflect on a Sister or Associate who has gone before us, please send your reflections – no more than 500 to 600 words – to
We invite you to meet some of the wonderful women who have recently crossed into eternity.