Biographies

Sister Mary DeSales Mullen, MM

Born: December 12, 1891
Entered: February 1, 1922
Died: November 6, 1965

Our Sister Mary de Sales fulfilled her long life of suffering when death came at 3:30 o’clock this morning. Although Sister appeared to feel well all day Friday, she was aware of our presence as we said the prayers for the dying and the rosary. When I assured Sister that God loved her very much and that we also did, she responded faintly but with assurance, “I know”.

Sister Mary de Sales (Mary Francesca Mullen) was born December 12, 1891 at Parkersburg, West Virginia. Sister studied nursing and received her R.N. from Providence Hospital in Washington, D. C., before her entrance to Maryknoll in 1922. She was professed on April 19, 1924. After special studies in Nursing Administration at Marquette University, Sister received her mission assignment to the Philippines in 1926 and was appointed Superior at Malabon. After a short period of two years of pioneering in our Philippine Mission, Sister became acutely ill and returned to the Motherhouse. She soon realized that she had a serious eye condition which cast a veil over her vision, and would affect her ability to work in the future. Sister loved the beauties of God’s universe, enjoyed reading poetry, and even gave expression to her longings for God in her own poems and writings. In 1937 when her condition worsened, she lost most of her vision. Undaunted by her great handicap, Sister studied and mastered Braille, and took advantage of many excellent records prepared for the blind, which were made available by lending libraries.Thus, Sister’s mind was kept alert and her interests were far-reaching.

Sister always made valiant efforts to do what she could for the community and to keep herself from being a burden to others. Her thirty-five years as a patient were spent between the Motherhouse, Los Altos and Bethany.

Sister Mary de Sales’ longing for the vision of God was intensified since the sight of His created beauties was taken from her. Sister’s Bethany family will watch with her and pray with her until the time of the Requiem Mass on Monday, November 8, when her precious remains will be brought to the Motherhouse and, with Sister Mary Dorothea, she will be laid to rest in our cemetery.