Sr. Maureen Mahon, formerly Sr. Zita, age 86 of the Sisters of St. Francis in Oldenburg, died June 20, 2022 at the convent. Born on January 28, 1936 in Cincinnati, Ohio, she was the eighth of ten children born to Anna (Nee: McDonald) and Daniel Mahon.
Maureen grew up in Cincinnati attending St. Vincent de Paul grade school where she and her siblings were taught by the Oldenburg Franciscans. She was impressed by the Sisters’ spirit of joy and their simplicity and her desire to follow this vocation began. She continued her education at Seton High School with the Sisters of Charity.
After high school, Maureen entered the Sisters of St. Francis on September 8, 1955. Although she had wanted to become a foreign missionary, that option wasn’t available at the time, so she began her career teaching grade school in Missouri and Ohio. In 1966 her dream was realized when she was sent to Papua New Guinea to minister to the people of the highlands. Maureen described the people as “beautiful” and her time in Papua New Guinea as “truly enriching”.
During her 29 years there, she taught primary grades, was director of a school for catechists and Directress of the Liturgical Catechetical Institute for the Catholic Bishops’ Conference. After returning to the United States, Maureen worked as a Pastoral Minister in Washington, Missouri and Zanesville, Ohio. She earned a B.S. in Education from Marian University and pursued additional education through numerous workshops and courses in Papua New Guinea.
Maureen described her life with this image. “God has been like a weaver all these years in my life, spinning a tapestry which includes bright threads as well as dark ones, but always there, spinning and leading.”
She is survived by numerous nieces and nephews and great nieces and nephews. In addition to her parents, she is also preceded in death by sisters Mary Patricia, Joan, Ann, Eileen, Margaret, Mary Florence, Kathleen and brothers Francis and Edward.
Visitation is Tuesday, June 28th, from 1:30 – 3 p.m. at the convent chapel. Funeral services follow at 3 p.m. with Rev. Ken Overberg SJ officiating and burial in the convent cemetery. For those unable to attend, services will be live-streamed at https://youtu.be/Stmu3iQ6y40. Memorials may be made to the Sisters of St. Francis, P.O. Box 100, Oldenburg, Indiana, 47036 (www.OldenburgFranciscans.org).