Mary Ann (Marie Anne) Flanagan, IHM

Sister Mary Ann Flanagan, IHM, 76, died Wednesday, Oct. 29 at her home, IHM Senior Living Community.

Sister Mary Ann was born April 14, 1943, in Dearborn, Mich., to Joseph and Marguerite “Betty” (Hinks) Flanagan. The family belonged to Sacred Heart parish where Mary Ann attended grade school and graduated from Sacred Heart High School. The IHM community was very much a part of family life with two aunts as IHM Sisters and relatives who were members of other religious communities. In 1961, Mary Ann entered the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Monroe, and received the religious name, Sister Marie Anne.

After earning a bachelor’s degree from Marygrove College, she spent several years teaching at St. Raymond, Detroit. Sister Mary Ann was interested in adult religious education, faith formation and theology. She earned a master’s degree from the University of Detroit and went on to study and earn a doctorate from Catholic University of Louvain, Belgium.

Her interests and education led to a variety of positions and places and touched many lives. She coordinated adult religious education at Holy Cross House in Atlanta; spiritual formation for the IHM community; co-directed the Institute of Apostolic Spirituality in Cincinnati and traveled to Bolivia and Chile as part of a Maryknoll team in acculturation and pastoral services.

Much of her career was spent as professor of theology: at Marygrove College and Sacred Heart Seminary, Detroit; St. Vincent de Paul Seminary, Boynton Beach, Fla.; and at Assumption University, Windsor, Ontario, from 1993 to 2001. She served the Diocese of Saginaw as director of the Office of Church Ministry until 2005.

Sister Mary Ann continued to work freelance in theological education, spiritual direction, speaking engagements and related projects for many communities until changes in health led her to move to the Motherhouse and recently to the Health Care Center within IHM Senior Living Community.

Sister Mary Ann is survived by her sister Susan, brother Philip, nieces and nephew and her sisters in community.

Read her Remembering.