Sister Jean Hogle, MM
Born: July 26, 1922
Entered: September 6, 1951
Died: March 28, 2012
When Sister Jean Hogle celebrated her 60th Anniversary in Maryknoll in 2011, she wrote: “My contact with Maryknoll inspired a change in my approach to religion, which converted me into a believer in what Maryknoll offers to the world. I am still changing in what I consider to be, and hope really is, a spiritual way.”
Sister Jean Hogle died on March 28, 2012, at Maryknoll Residential Care III, where, because of failing health, she had been in hospice care for the past three months. In January her good friends, Father Jack Sullivan, M.M. and Sister Maria Rieckelman, M.M., visited her and at that time Jack administered the Sacrament of the Sick which Jean found a great comfort. Jean’s Prayer Ministry was the Dutch Benefactors and Jean hung that assignment in her bedroom. Jean died in the same quiet way that she had lived.
Sister Jean had a large group of friends and was a loyal, trusted friend herself. Her close friends describe her as an avid reader, a bright, intelligent woman with a clear sense of purpose and a wonderful, dry sense of humor. You could have intelligent conversations with her because she was so well informed.
Born on July 26, 1922 in New York City, NY to Horace Hogle, Jr. and Gladys (Miller) Hogle, Jean was raised in Pleasantville, NY. Both of her parents died in 1976. She is survived by her brother and her sister-in law and their daughters.
A graduate of Pleasantville High School, Jean earned a B.S. in zoology in 1943 from New Jersey College for Women (now Douglass College, a part of Rutgers University), and a Masters in Medical Technology in 1947 from St. Mary’s Hospital School, Rochester, NY. She was employed at Grasslands Hospital, Valhalla, NY, St. Mary’s Hospital, Rochester, NY and Mt. Sinai Hospital, New York City. Jean was raised as a Methodist and converted to Catholicism as an adult. While working as a Medical Technologist at Grasslands, Jean met Sister Jeremie Crowley, M.M. who used to feed some of the patients and she became a friend of Sister Jeremie and became a Catholic. Subsequently she met other Maryknoll Sisters. When she became a Catholic, she had the full support of her parents who came to love Maryknoll.
Entering Maryknoll on September 6, 1951 from Holy Innocents Parish, Pleasantville, NY, Jean took the religious name Sister Miriam Leah and made her First Vows at Maryknoll, NY on March 7, 1954. Some years after Jean had been in Maryknoll, the Methodist Church in which her parents were very active members, was having a fund raising drive for needed repairs on their church building. Mrs. Hogle wrote a letter to the Catholic Cardinal of New York explaining that she had given her only daughter to the Catholic Church and so she hoped that the Cardinal would donate to their fund raising drive – Cardinal Spellman did-$200!
Sister Jean’s first assignment in 1954 was to open Queen of the World Hospital, Kansas City, MO with other Maryknoll Sisters. Ten years before the Civil Rights Act banned discrimination in the workplace, the team of Maryknoll Sisters opened an integrated hospital in Kansas City, with African American and white staff serving together. Jean, as Medical Technologist, was supervisor of the laboratory, which she had set up. Jean made her Final Vows on March 7, 1960 in Conception, MO. She talked often of the unique experience of her ten years in Kansas City, where she met Sister Madeline Maria Dorsey, one of the friends at her bedside before she died.
Sister Jean spent the majority of the next thirty-six years in Taiwan. While studying Taiwanese in Changua, she helped Sister Antonia Maria, MD in the clinic. She worked as a medical technologist at the U.S. Navy Medical Research Unit #2, in Taipei, Taiwan from 1967-1974. During this time she was the holder of a Fellowship in the Department of Pathology. She was also an advisor at the Diocesan Hospital laboratory. In the 1960’s, Jean’s parents travelled to Taiwan via ship, accompanied by Sister Andrée Normandin – some twenty-five days on the ocean. They shared a delightful few weeks with Jean. From 1975-1979, Sister Jean worked in the Treasury and Personnel Departments at Maryknoll Sisters Center, NY.
After returning to Taichung, Taiwan in 1979, Jean volunteered at the Populorum Progressio Institute – a leader in Catholic Social Justice ministry education in Taiwan, both as an English secretary for the Credit Union League and as a staffer for the Institute from 1979-1988. From 1988 to 1990, Jean worked as a parish volunteer in the town of Feng Lin, Hualien County. She also served for several years as a member of the Regional Governance Team and as the Regional Bookkeeper. In 1991, Jean volunteered her services as an English secretary for the Sheng Kung Sisters at St. Joseph’s Hospital in Kaohsiung, Taiwan.
Jean returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center, NY in 1993, and as a member of the Rogers Community, she worked as office assistant in the Rogers Council office and then was a volunteer in the Support Service Office until 2006. All her life Jean loved opera. That made it so easy to choose a birthday or Christmas gift for her. The Three Tenors ranked among her favorite CD’S. She often shared the fruits of her reading with insightful and challenging comments on current justice issues. Whenever she found a particularly good book, she would share it with others so all could benefit.
Jean was a wonderful person to live with in community, supportive and kind, always expressing interest in what others were doing. Often, with a twinkle in her eye and an unexpected comment she would call attention to the incongruities of life. In the late 1960’s in Taiwan, a group of Sisters posed for a photo of themselves in their “new” habits of grey skirt and blouse with a simple head veil. They did not suspect at the time that this photo would grace the display window of the photographer for the next couple of years! Jean referred to it as the “war widow” picture. Wherever she served in ministry, Jean brought the same gentle presence and a quiet, behind-the-scenes dedication to her work.
We welcome and are happy to have with us today Jean’s three nieces, along with other family members.
We also welcome our Maryknoll brother, Father Jack Sullivan, who will preside at our Eucharistic Liturgy of Christian Burial.