2019 Jubilarian – Margaret (Margaret Leo) Canuelle

Sister Margaret Canuelle was born in River Rouge, Mich., during the Depression years. Her father worked as a firefighter while her mother stayed home caring for her two daughters, Margaret and Rosanne. Rosanne is a member of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Joseph of Nazareth, Mich.

Immediately after graduation from Our Lady of Lourdes Catholic School, Margaret was employed by J.L. Hudson and worked in the superintendent’s office. She credits the IHM Sisters with preparing her for this position since it was her excellent handwriting that was so valued by her employers.

Margaret also sang in the Detroit Founders Guild, where she sang opera. This led to a life-long love and enthusiasm for opera. Margaret’s knowledge of opera would make her a strong competitor in this area on the Jeopardy program! She was one of the first women to become an usher at the Masonic Temple. This also enhanced her love for music and drama.

During this time, Margaret was very aware of her call to religious life that had grown so strong through the example of Sister Francis de Sales and the other sisters who had taught her.

Margaret entered the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary on July 2, 1948. She loved her year as a postulant and her two years as a novice and so was ready to follow her teachers in allowing the Holy Spirit to work through her.

After completing her bachelor’s degree at Marygrove College, Margaret earned her Master of Science degree from Wayne State University. With studies completed, she joined a few friends to see the world (the world of the United States). They found hospitality in many of our convents throughout the country.

The rest is history. Margaret taught in all grades: one through eight in Detroit, Jackson and Benton Harbor, Mich., and in Mobile, Ala. She taught high school in Lorraine and Akron, Ohio and at Shrine of the Little Flower in Royal Oak, Mich.

As many sisters have experienced, teaching religious education to those unable to attend a Catholic school was a given while teaching full-time in the parish school. Margaret also taught bible classes.

Until her retirement, Margaret served the people of St. Clare de Montefalco for 22 years. She was a pastoral minister working with a team to offer various programs to the people of the parish. She also served the homebound and older adults – she even established a phone-in service for those unable to get to the parish.

Sister Margaret’s greatest joy comes from her belief in God’s compassionate love. She tries to see God’s presence in everyone and appreciates the opportunity to grow in her faith and to deepen her spirituality. Her recent retirement has given Margaret a reason to be further grateful as she shares life with the other sisters who have ministered as she has.