May They Rest in Peace: Sr. Mary Madeleine (Frances) Dolan, CSSF

Sr. Mary Madeleine (Frances) Dolan, CSSF, of Flint was 82 years old and 59 years in religious life when the Lord called her home on May 10, 2020, in St. Mary Mercy Hospital, Livonia. 

Frances was the first of four children of Francis and Marian (Purcell): Jeanne (Smith), Denis+ and Lori Ann Dolan. Born Feb. 12, 1938, and baptized and confirmed at St. Mary Church in Mt. Morris, Michigan, she attended both the parish grade school and high school graduating in 1956. 

Interment was in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Southfield, on Friday, May 15, 2020.
Sr. Mary Madeleine (Frances) Dolan, CSSF

Frances was a vivacious person with a beautiful voice who had a passion for music, a talent she received from her mother.  Frances followed in her footsteps, played the piano and any song by ear, and was organist at St. Mary Church in Mt. Morris and St. Francis Church in Flint. 

While taking classes at a local community college in Flint, MI she began student teaching second grade at St. Francis of Assisi School located North of Flint, MI which was staffed by the Felician Sisters. Four years later, in 1960, Frances was accepted into the Felician community as a postulant received her religious habit and name of Sister Mary Madeleine in 1961. She made her final profession of vows in 1968. 

Preparing for her apostolic ministry, Sister Madeleine earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Madonna (College) University and a Master of Arts degree in Special Education from Eastern Michigan University. The course content at Eastern Michigan encompassed specialized classes in Learning Disabilities and Occupational Therapy. Sister Madeleine’s calling to this field of education perhaps evolved from the family situation where two siblings were mentally challenged.

During her thirty-three years of ministry in education, Sister Madeleine’s apostolic journey took many paths that included teaching elementary school at St. Valentine, Detroit; St. Francis Flint; Presentation, Detroit; and Our Lady of Refuge, Orchard Lake.  Sister also served as elementary school principal for a total of sixteen years at St. Jude, Grand Rapids; St. Valentine, Detroit; St. Damian, Westland; and St. Florian, Hamtramck. Another assignment included Administrator and Director of St. Joseph Day Care Center in Jackson where Sister conducted special education classes for some students while others attended Jackson public schools.  

In 1996 Sister Madeleine went to her family home to care for her mother and sister, Lori who was mentally challenged.   Sister Madeleine cared for them with a boundless supply of energy while still attending as many community functions and meetings as possible.  During this time Sister also served on the Board of Trustees at Madonna (College) University. Sister Madeleine will be remembered as a deeply spiritual person whose faith sustained her through all trials.  

During the last month Sister battled the coronavirus, COVID-19, and was taken to St. Mary Mercy Hospital and placed on a ventilator for close to a month. The community was hoping and praying for a miracle through the intercession of Blessed Mary Angela, but the Lord had other plans and gently led her home.  

Sister Mary Madeleine peacefully left this earth on May 10, 2020, to return to the God whom she so faithfully and joyously served on this earth. She is survived by her sisters Jeanne (Harold) Smith and Lori Ann Dolan and nieces and nephew: Linda Leigh, Brian Smith and Christine DeVeaux.

Interment was in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery, Southfield, on Friday, May 15, 2020.

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