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Mary (John Patrick) McCann, IHM

Sister Mary M. McCann, IHM, 79, died peacefully Friday, June 23, at McGivney Way of the IHM Senior Living Community.  

Sister Mary was the daughter of Edward and Rita (McGrath) McCann and was born in Clawson, Michigan, Jan. 18, 1944. Her family of parents and ten siblings made for a joyous upbringing. Mary attended the parish school Guardian Angels (Clawson) and graduated from Girls’ Catholic Central, Detroit, in 1961. That summer, she entered the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, Monroe, and received the religious name, Sister John Patrick.

Sister John Patrick studied at Marygrove College and earned a bachelor’s degree while teaching at St. Francis de Sales and Christ the King, Detroit. She continued to Loyola University, Chicago, completing the master’s degree program in Pastoral Studies and a doctorate from the University of Notre Dame (Indiana).

As a bright, educated, and deeply spiritual woman, Sister John Patrick ministered in Education as Assistant professor, student-teacher supervisor and Program administrator at Marygrove College. An opportunity at the Institute for Spiritual Leadership (Chicago) set her direction toward religious formation for the IHM community and spiritual development. In 1982 she accepted a faculty position in Spiritual Development at St. Regis College, Toronto, Canada. She held this position for more than ten years until she was elected to the Leadership Council 1994-2000 and served as President of the IHM Congregation.

With her council, this team began a new governance model for the community, bringing in the numerous provinces across the country and mission sites in an empowering approach to the effectiveness of religious communities. A second achievement was the impetus to establish the Monroe Campus Master Plan in research, community ownership and action for renovating the Motherhouse and its campus in an ecologically sustainable manner for future use. The renovation became the largest “green building renovation in the State of Michigan” in 2000. Sister Mary was a guiding force in the spiritual care of all involved and affected by the great change experienced on campus.

Taking time for renewal and transition after leading the community, Sister Mary returned to ministry in Spiritual Development with the Institute for Communal Contemplation as a project and design facilitator and in spiritual support ministries.

As changes in physical health occurred in recent years, Sister Mary sought care by moving to the IHM Motherhouse and attending specialized care for vascular dementia. The care and compassion of her communal sisters allowed her to participate in liturgy and community events to the best of her ability.

Sister Mary is survived by brothers Michael, Thomas, William, and Edward, and sisters Rita, Carol, Catherine and Maureen, nieces and nephews, and sisters in community. Preceded in death by brothers Robert and John. 

Read Sister Mary’s Remembering here.