Sister Madelon Marie Mullen, MM
Born: August 4, 1921
Entered: September 6, 1944
Died: October 28, 2006
Our Sister Madelon Marie Mullen slipped quietly thru death’s door on Saturday, October 28, 2006 in our Residential Care IV unit here at the Center. Sister was 85 years of age and a Maryknoll Sister for 62 years.
Marie Theresa Mullen was born in Scotland on August 4, 1921. Her parents were Jane Boyle Mullen and James A. Mullen. She had seven siblings, three sisters and four brothers. Coming to the United States at the age of two and living in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, Marie Theresa attended Grade school at St. Anselm’s and graduated from Bishop McDonnell Memorial High School in 1938. She then went to Eron Business Preparatory which prepared her for a job in the Finance Department of the U.S. Army Port of Embarkation, Brooklyn.
In the process of discerning where best she could live out her vocation, Marie Theresa with her Confessor, Father Bradley, visited Maryknoll and several other mission orientated religious communities. She prayed hard for guidance to St. Therese, who was her Confirmation patroness. Eventually, the Spirit moved her to choose Maryknoll.
On September 6, 1944, Marie Theresa entered Maryknoll and at Reception she received the name Sister Madelon Marie. She pronounced her First Vows on March 7, 1947. Sister studied at Maryknoll Teachers College and obtained a Bachelor’s Degree in 1950 at which year on March 7th she also made her final vows. In this same year, Madelon Marie was assigned to the Philippines Region, and Koror, Lucena and Manila were to benefit by her teaching skills. Her first mission was Koror where she arrived one weekday in October. Of this she wrote: “The very next morning I found myself standing before a class of ungraded students ranging in ages from seven to seventeen – all with smiling eager faces. However, they didn’t know any English and I didn’t know a single word of Palauan. I prayed desperately. ‘What do I do now,Lord?’ Somehow we got through the day and the year, together. I have no doubt that the students taught me more than I taught them – but we did laugh a lot!”
In 1958, Madelon Marie was assigned to the Central Pacific Region which she claimed her own until 2001. During this period she spent two years at the Center working in the Admissions Department at the request of Mother Mary Coleman and another two years studying theology and Religious Education at St John’s University in Jamaica, New York where she obtained a Master of Arts Degree in 1974.
Sister Madelon Marie’s teaching ministry in Hawaii began with Grade 10 in Punahou and from there to St. Ann High School in Kaneohe where she taught Theology, English and English Literature. This was followed by Adult Education, Junior High Religion, CCD Coordinator and Parish Minister. In 1980 when the RCIA program was coming into being, Madelon Marie was right on the scene and helped in promoting its effectiveness. From 1989 to 1993, she did Chaplaincy at the Tripler Hospital.
Sister retired to St. Anthony’s in Kailua in 1994 where she did volunteer work in Parish ministry which included, Eucharistic Ministry, synod preparations, counseling and parish projects. Wherever a need surfaced, she was there to assist.
Madelon Marie returned to the Center in 2001. During these years at the Center her Prayer Ministry was Central Pacific and in 2003 to the present she prayed for the Sisters on Family Ministry.
When celebrating her sixty years as a Maryknoll Sister in 2004, Madelon Marie was so eager to take part in the celebration that she memorized the First Reading and proclaimed it beautifully at the Eucharistic Liturgy celebrated with her Entrance Group.
“So thoroughly did her outward bearing correspond with the staidness of her character that it seemed as if she had been born the pattern of a virtuous life. I may say, in short, every word that she uttered, every act that she performed, showed that she was meditating on the things of heaven.” This quote attributed to Turgot when writing about St. Margaret, Queen of Scotland, can aptly be attributed to our Scottish-born Sister Madelon Marie Mullen.
We welcome our Maryknoll brother Father Michael Duggan who will preside at this Liturgy of Christian Burial.