2013 Jubilarian – Margaret (Thomas Edward) McAnoy
Sister Margaret McAnoy was around IHMs all her life. Her older sister, Jo, joined the community when Sister Margaret was in third grade. Her father often drove the sisters on errands, and she accompanied him. She also had IHM teachers at St. Gregory.
“Sisters were a part of my life. I always knew I was going to become one,” she says. “I don’t know if it was a calling, it was just where I knew I was headed.”
She and Jo became IHMs; her brother became a priest; and another sister got married and had six children. Her parents always encouraged and supported their children’s choices.
Sister Margaret’s first mission was at St. John, Jackson, Mich., teaching fourth grade. From there she spent three years at St. Felicitas in Chicago. The trust of her superior there allowed her to flourish and appreciate the love of the Holy Spirit.
After Chicago, Sister Margaret taught in Detroit and in Monroe before becoming principal at St. John, Monroe. After two years, she left to teach at St. Pius X High School in Atlanta and then became the principal at Our Lady of Lourdes Elementary School in Atlanta.
While in Atlanta, she attended a Cursillo Weekend that profoundly changed her life. She became the director of Cursillo for the Archdiocese of Atlanta for two years, followed by 15 years on the spiritual development staff of the archdiocese. During this time, she also began ministering to men with AIDS, working in the kitchen at the Shrine in downtown Atlanta and then coordinating elegant dinners and shows for the men.
Sister Margaret also ministered as chaplain at St. Joseph Hospital, Atlanta.
Currently, she directs the first year of the permanent diaconate program. The emphasis is on “peace and justice and how the men are involved outside the parish.” In addition to this work, her primary ministry is that of vicar for religious at the Archdiocese of Atlanta, working closely with religious sisters and priests.
Sister Margaret loves returning to the Motherhouse and is inspired by the “wealth of wisdom” present in the community.
“I am always energized during the summer days and Chapters. I am energized when I come in contact with people out ahead of me involved in the world and justice issues and peace issues. When I see what religious women do, I am in awe.”
Sister Margaret will be forever grateful to the community for allowing her married sister to convalesce at the Motherhouse during her last nine months of life. Reminiscing about her time with the community, she says being an IHM “has been the most fulfilling life I can imagine. I have lived on the words, ‘come follow me,’ and have been willing to be a disciple, to take in and spread.”