Sister Maureen Brogan, SNDdeN (formerly Ann Josephine)

Sister Maureen Brogan, SNDdeN (formerly Ann Josephine)

September 3, 1925 – August 30, 2014


Maureen Ann Brogan may have been born in Los Angeles, but as far as she was concerned Chicago was her home town. It was there that Maureen got to know the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, first as her teachers at St. Robert Bellarmine grade school and then at Notre Dame High School where she was a proud member of the High School’s third graduating class. Drawn to religious life, it was natural that she would enter the Sisters of Notre Dame where she known as Sister Ann Josephine.

The first fifteen years of her teaching ministry found her serving in Notre Dame Schools in Ohio, Illinois and Michigan. She gained experience of students in every grade. Perhaps it was the breadth of this experience that taught her the importance of basic reading and language art skills. She choose that field as her specialization for Master’s study, and much of her ministry from that point on focused on teaching these skills, as well as training teachers. Maureen initiated a Master of Arts in Teaching Program for experienced teachers at Trinity College. This program continues to thrive today. She supervised generations of student-teachers at DePaul University, and gave numerous workshops for teachers through the professional organizations to which she belonged.

She took seriously St. Julie’s emphasis on the need to be life-long learners. While on staff at De Paul she took advantage of the opportunity to take graduate courses at no cost, including classes in computer skills. She earned a second Masters, this time in Pastoral Studies. She used that knowledge to offer adult spirituality presentations at diocesan, deanery, and parish levels in both the Diocese of Joliet and the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Maureen’s love of learning also led to participation in numerous professional organizations including the International Reading Association, the International Council of Education for Teaching, and the National Council of Teachers of English. Her desire to serve resulted in volunteer service on boards including the Family Consultation Service, Rockford United Way and St. Joseph Hospital, Belvidere, Illinois. It also resulted in many summers spent teaching economically disadvantaged parents in the Parent Program for Pre-School Children at Chicago’s Marillac House and in-services to participants in the Chicago Notre Dame Mission Volunteer AmeriCorps program.

Maureen loved the arts. She took advantage of the cultural offerings in Chicago by visiting its museums of art, science and industry; its planetarium, conservatory and zoo. She enjoyed opportunities to attend the theatre and ballet as well as concerts and musical performances. She loved opportunities to learn more about the city’s history and architecture. For Maureen it was a way of touching into the stories of the people who built and enlivened the city through the decades. She gladly shared what she learned by serving as “tour guide” for visiting SND’s. This was one way she could share her love for the city that gave her such life and energy. She wove her Irish-Catholic faith, love of history and architecture into her years of service as a docent at Old St. Patrick’s Church in downtown Chicago. Maureen also explored her own artistic talents through her study of and work in wood sculpting and photography, and her participation in the Anawim Players (a Christian Theater group) at Loyola University.

Living Saint Julie’s mandate to have a heart “as wide of the world” she taught for a semester in Glasgow, Scotland and spent three months visiting the schools in Great Britain. She served for two years in Japan, delving into Japanese culture as she helped her students learn English and more about western cultures. She directed the English as a Second Language program for the Archdiocese of Chicago. She asked for teaching assignments at De Paul that put her in direct service to Iranian, Chinese, Aztec, Mexican, Puerto Rican and African-American students. She volunteered for three months of service doing teacher training and helping Notre Dame Sisters in mission in Nicaragua. She later described that experience as “…an extraordinary grace-filled trip ….All my experiences were with the very poor. I was graced with an unimaginable openness to whatever would happen but always felt God’s loving presence (the CALM as the ancient Celtic people called it). My relationship with God changed dramatically –changed into a real reciprocal relationship between us – and I am in awe of this!”

“We are the clay and you the Potter, we are the work of your hands.” These words of Isaiah 64:7 were the theme of the missioning ceremony when Maureen was missioned to Japan. In many ways they capture her relationship with God and her attitude towards life. Besides personal and communal prayer, she participated in regular spiritual direction and annual retreats, took classes to deepen her knowledge of scripture and update her theology. After the diagnosis of her last illness she decided to celebrate her 80th year by making the 19th Annotation Retreat. Maureen took seriously the invitation to “find God in all things.” Each person she met, each experience that came her way were experiences of God’s goodness and love continuing to shape and to mold her, to energize and enliven her. She responded whole-heartedly by loving in return.

The oldest child of four, Maureen was devoted to her family. She loved each member deeply and took great joy in sharing life with them, and in sharing them with her Notre Dame community. Wherever Maureen lived she focused on the people around her. In large communities she appreciated the sub-groupings that would develop. In ministry she appreciated the relationships with individuals that continued beyond the time she spent in any given place. As she said, “My past ministries continue to bless me through regular and irregular contacts from St. Peter Canisius, Trinity College, Scotland, Japan, Nicaragua – Bless them!” Maureen’s family, Sisters and friends thank the good God for the wonderful blessing her life has been to our world.

Bio Data
Born September 3, 1925 in Los Angeles, California
Parents: Francis Brogan (b. Iowa) and Ada Mae Dieter (b. Vail, Iowa)
Siblings: Francis X. , Mildred and Ada Mae

Baptized September 20, 1925 at St. Paul Church, Los Angeles, California
Confirmed June 6, 1938 at St. Robert Bellarmine Church, Chicago, Illinois
Educated by the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur at St. Robert Bellarmine and Notre Dame High School, Chicago, Illinois

Entered Notre Dame August 16, 1943 at Mt. Notre Dame
First Profession: January 26, 1946
Final Vows: August 13, 1951

Bachelor of Science in Education, Athenaeum of Ohio, Cincinnati, Ohio,1954
Master of Education, Cardinal Stritch, Milwaukee, Wisconsin, 1963
Master of Pastoral Studies, Loyola University, Chicago, 1981

Assignments Include:
1947-1949: Cardinal Pacelli School, Cincinnati, Ohio
1949-1951: St. Peter Canisius School, Chicago, Illinois
1951-1953: St. James School, Wyoming, Ohio
1953-1958: St. Peter Canisius School, Chicago, Illinois
1958-1959: St. Eugene School, Detroit, Michigan
1959-1962: St. Peter Canisius School, Chicago, Illinois
1962-1963: Student, Cardinal Stritch College, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
1963-1968: Reading Consultant, Director of English as a Second Language Program, Archdiocese of Chicago, Illinois
1968-1974: Assistant Professor of Education, Trinity College, Washington, D.C.
1974-1982: Reading Consultant, Rockford Diocese, Illinois
1982-1984: Professor, Department of Literature, Notre Dame Seishin University, Okayama, Japan
8/1/85-12/31/2002 Lecturer, Supervisor of Student Teachers, Clinician for Learning Disabled Adults, De Paul University, Chicago, Illinois
3/15/2001 – 5/1/2003: Supervisor of Student Teachers, De Paul University, Chicago, Illinois
6/1/2003 – 12/31/2006: Docent, Old St. Patrick Church, Chicago, Illinois
1/1/2007 – 6/30/2009: Retired, Notre Dame Convent, Chicago, Illinois
7/1/2009 – 2014: Mount Notre Dame Health Center, Reading, Ohio

Sr. Kim Dalgarn SNDdeN
August 31, 2014