May They Rest in Peace: Sr. Mary Agnes Malburg, XS

Sr. Mary Agnes Malburg, XS, the last member of the Xavier Sisters, died on May 11, 2020 in Sterling Heights. 

She was born in what was then called Sterling Township in Macomb County, Michigan on Jan. 7, 1936, to John and Agnes (Rhein) Malburg. Sister Mary Agnes was baptized Martha Clara. A member of a large family, one of nine sisters and brothers, Helen, Leo, Louise, George, John, Irene, Andrew, and Sylvester, Sister Mary Agnes was the second from the youngest child in the Malburg household. After completing her early education, she was employed at National Machine products for seven years before entering a newly formed Congregation in the Archdiocese of Detroit, the Catholic Mission Sisters of St Francis Xavier, generally known as the Xavier Sisters.

A graveside prayer service at Resurrection Cemetery in Clinton Township will take place on Friday, May 15, 2020, at 10 a.m.
Sr. Mary Agnes Malburg, XS

Founded by Edmund Cardinal Mooney, archbishop of Detroit, in 1946, this congregation was established to serve the poor in the Detroit area as well as Japan, which was slowly recovering from the effects of World War II. Sr. Mary Agnes entered the community on Sept. 24, 1963, where she was greeted by the founding superior, Sr. Miriam Kennedy, XS. After the prescribed canonical novitiate and formation program, Sr. Mary Agnes pronounce perpetual vows in the presence of her community, family and friends.

In addition to work in the city of Detroit, Sr. Mary Agnes served briefly in Japan, where the community established two hostels, one in Kochi and one in Tokashima. Sister returned to her missionary activities in the Archdiocese of Detroit, where she assisted with great kindness hundreds of homeless, adolescent girls and adults who were struggling financially and psychologically. Some of her ministries included Heartline, a live-in house for women completing jail terms, Medilodge Nursing Home, Fraser Village and American House, where she provided spiritual services for the residents. She was also charged with maintaining financial records for her congregation.

The Xavier Sisters built their motherhouse in Clinton Township on Moravian and 15 Mile Road, and subsequently sold it to the Discalced Carmelite Sisters. During the challenging decades following the Second Vatican Council, the Xavier Sisters experienced a diminishment of membership. The last three sisters in the Xavier Sisters community included Sr. Mary Carmel Cagno, Sr. Miriam Kennedy, foundress, and Sr. Mary Agnes Malburg, who lived in their convent home on Moravian Drive just north of Metro Parkway where they continued various small-group ministries.  

Sr. Mary Agnes moved to American House in November 2017, where she spent her waning years. After 57 years of service for the Lord, Sister Mary Agnes passed away peacefully in Sterling Heights. Sr. Mary Agnes is survived by her sister, Irene Brender, brothers Sylvester and Andrew, and several nieces and nephews. She is the final member in her community, known as the Xavier Sisters, in the Archdiocese of Detroit.

A graveside prayer service at Resurrection Cemetery in Clinton Township will take place on Friday, May 15, 2020, at 10 a.m. Funeral services will include a Memorial Mass at St. Michael the Archangel Parish in Sterling Heights at a future date.

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