Canonical Superiors


Mother Theresa Maxis Duchemin

1845 - 1871
Born: April of 1810 in Baltimore, Maryland
Died: January 14, 1892 in West Chester, PA
Name: Alamaine Duchemin
Parents: Major Arthur Howard and Marie Anne Maxis Duchemin
Religious Profession: July 2, 1829 in Oblates of Providence, Baltimore
Elected Mother General: June 21, 1841 Superior General of Oblates of Providence
Interesting Information:
  • Co-founder with Father Gillet of IHM Sisters in Monroe, Michigan: November 1845 at age 35
  • Exiled to Grey Nuns of Ottawa, Canada: 1867
  • Returned to IHMs at West Chester, PA: 1885

Mother Mary Joseph Shaughnessy

1871 - 1877
Born: May 1, 1840 in Friendsville, PA
Died: May 6, 1884
Name: Mary Shaughnessy
Reception of Habit: July 24, 1859 in Susquehanna, PA (then the Diocese of Philadelphia)
Religious Profession: July 13, 1860
Elected: Appointed Superior General (by Bishop O’Hara) of new Scranton IHM: 1871
Interesting Information:
  • One of the original 12 IHMs who separated from Reading to go to Scranton at the request of the Bishop.
  • Served Six years as Superior General 1871-1877

Mother Mary Francis Henry

1877 - 1889
Born: October 27, 1835 in Sligo, Ireland. Came to the U.S. in 1852, lived in Paterson N.J.
Died: October 11, 1912
Name: Margaret Henry
Education: Educated in Presentation Convent, Dublin
Reception of Habit: Reading, PA; August 15, 1863
Religious Profession: Reading, PA; August 25, 1865
Elected: Appointed Superior General by Bishop O’Hara: August 1877
Interesting Information:
  • One of the original 12 IHM Sisters in Scranton Diocese: 1871
  • Served as Superior General for 2 terms: 1877-1889
  • Had artistic talent
  • Congregation became a legally incorporated body in 1883 under her

Mother Mary Magdalen Jackson

1889 - 1899
Born: June 9, 1842 in Middleboro in Yorkshire England
Died: April 13, 1899 at St. Cecilia’s in Scranton, PA.
Name: Elizabeth Jackson
Parents: Christine Fawcett and David Jackson. Mother was Quaker, Father was Anglican
Entered the Congregation: September 8, 1871
Reception of Habit: February 2, 1872 in Pittston, PA
Religious Profession: August 14, 1874
Elected: July 22, 1889, the feast of St. Mary Magdalen, Re-elected: August 15, 1895
Interesting Information:
  • Came to Ontario, Canada with parents in 1852
  • Converted to Catholicism
  • Accomplished musician
  • First postulant received in newly formed Scranton Diocese
  • First elected Superior General of Scranton IHMs
  • In 1893, purchased 30 acres of the land now known as Marywood University.
  • 224 Professed Sisters; 29 novices at time of her death.

Mother Mary Crescentia Foster

1899 - 1901
Born: September 5, 1859 in Scranton, PA
Died: April 11, 1916 at St. Alphonsus Convent, New York City (of pneumonia)
Name: Mary Foster
Parents: Ann Nolan and William Foster, natives of Ireland
Entered the Congregation: February 6, 1877 at St. Cecilia’s Scranton
Reception of Habit: November 21, 1877
Religious Profession: December 31, 1879
Elected: Appointed by Bishop Michel Hoban to completed unexpired term of Mother Mary Magdalen Jackson. 1899-1901
Interesting Information:
  • Continued plans of Mother Mary for building new Motherhouse at Mt. St. Mary's. Conducted groundbreaking on July 19, 1901. Building not completed until 1903, after her term.
  • Elected Assistant Superior General with Mother Mary Jackson: 1888-1899
  • 1913-1916: Appointed superior and principal of St. Alphonsus School, N.Y

Mother M. Cyril Conway

1901 - 1913
Born: August 27, 1858 in Pittston, PA
Died: June 6, 1942
Name: Ellen Conway
Parents: Margaret Shellue and Henry J. Conway
Entered the Congregation: June 1876 at St. Cecilia’s, Scranton
Reception of Habit: February 13, 1877, St. Rose, Carbondale
Religious Profession: August 27, 1878, St. Cecilia’s, Scranton
Elected: August, 1901
Interesting Information:
  • 1901-1903: Walked nearly every day from St. Cecilia's, Scranton to supervise work at new motherhouse site.
  • 1903: Completed Mt. St. Mary's Motherhouse, Scranton.
  • Constructed shrine to Our Lady of Victory in Thanksgiving that a proposed railroad was not built through the grounds.
  • 1903: Father Jankola sought the assistance of Mother M. Cyril to direct the candidates who would form a new congregation to serve Slovak immigrants and the first 3 aspirants began their initial formation at Mt. St. Mary’s In Scranton, PA
  • November 2, 1905: Mother M. Cyril accepted Casmira Kaupas and two other young women into the formation program at Mount St. Mary
  • August 29, 1907: Mother Maria, Mother Immaculata and Mother Concepta were professed. This day marked the birth of the Congregation of the Sisters of St. Casimir (Lithuanian Sisters)
  • September 11, 1909: celebration of the founding of the Sisters of Sts. Cyril and Methodius occured (Slovak Sisters)
  • Western Missions:
    • 1903: Opening of St. Lawrence School, Portland, Oregon
    • 1903: IHM Academy, Couer d'Alene, Idaho
    • 1905: St. Joseph's School, Spokane, Washington
  • Orphanages: 1909: St. John's Home, Altoona, PA

Mother M. Germaine O'Neill

1913 - 1919
Born: March 23, 1861 in Sheffield, England
Died: September 13, 1928
Name: Agnes O’Neil
Parents: Mary Hynes and Michael O’Neil. Moved to Williamsport, PA (8 children attended St. Joseph’s School)
Entered the Congregation: 1879
Reception of Habit: December 21, 1880; St. Rose, Carbondale, PA
Religious Profession: 1882
Elected: August 7, 1913
Interesting Information:
  • Elected Assistant Superior General: 1907
  • 1914: M. Germaine wrote the first Marywood College Catalog
  • 1915: Marywood College opened for Classes
  • 1914: Sent 3 Sisters to Ossining, NY (Maryknoll) to begin training of future Maryknoll Sisters.
  • 1918: Petitioned Fordham University, NY to open its graduate schools to the Sisters.
  • 1918: Sent sisters (and she herself went) to help the sick of the county in the flu epidemic.

Mother M. Casimir Murray

1919 - 1929
Born: November 10, 1850 in Reading PA
Died: February 16, 1929 at 79 years of age
Name: Ellen Murray
Parents: Margaret Dolon and James Murray
Entered the Congregation: September 29, 1868 at Reading, PA
Reception of Habit: December 3, 1868 at Reading, PA
Religious Profession: November 22, 1870 at Susquehanna, PA
Elected: 1919-1925 and 1925-1929
Interesting Information:
  • Member of the General Council:1871-1877
  • Opened 26 schools across North Carolina, Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York and Rhode Island; St. Joseph's Hospital, Carbondale, PA and St. Agnes, Elmhurst, PA (Home for aged IHMs)
  • Missions established under her leadership: Sacred Heart Elementary and High Schools, La Plata, MD and St. Joseph's, New Bern, NC

Mother Mary William Craig

1929 - 1931
Born: August 10, 1871 in Pittston, PA
Died: May 3, 1965
Name: Ellen Craig
Parents: Ann Brown and Patrick Craig
Entered the Congregation: July 31, 1890
Reception of Habit: August 2, 1891
Religious Profession: April 3, 1893
Elected: 1929-1931 (completed M. Casimir’s term, not elected)
Interesting Information:
  • Member of General Council: 1st Assistant to Mother Casimir
  • 1925-1929 St. Alphonsus Academy, Tilamook, Oregon (traveled by train to Portland, then by Covered Wagon to Tilamook); St. Lawrence Elementary School, Portland Oregon; IHM Academy, Coeur d'Alene, Idaho
  • St. Joseph's Elementary School, Danville, PA

Mother M. Josepha Hurley

1931 - 1940
Born: February 8, 1876 in Susquehanna, PA
Died: December 4, 1940 at 64 years of age
Name: Delia Hurley
Parents: Thomas and Helen Maroney Hurley
Education: A.B. Marywood University; M.A. Fordham University, New York
Entered the Congregation: October 2, 1901 at St. Rose; Carbondale, PA
Reception of Habit: April 1, 1902
Religious Profession: August 2, 1904
Elected Mother General: 1931-1937 and 1937-1940 (she died during second term)
Interesting Information:
  • Opened 16 new missions from Twin Falls, Idaho to Rocky Mount, North Carolina
  • Served as Principal and Superior at six missions

Mother M. Marcella Gill

1940 - 1955
Born: December 22, 1877 in Parsons, PA
Died: September 14, 1955 at 77 years of age
Name: Katherine Gill
Parents: John and Marie Nolan Gill
Entered the Congregation: July 2, 1896 at St. Rose; Carbondale, PA
Reception of Habit: February 2, 1897
Religious Profession: July 15, 1899
Elected Superior General: 1940-1943 (completed Mother Josepha's term) 1943-1949 and 1949-1955
Interesting Information:
  • Served at the following 4 High Schools:
    • Holy Rosary, Scranton, PA
    • St. Joseph's, Renovo, PA
    • Most Holy Rosary, Syracuse, NY
    • St. Dominic's, Oyster Bay, NY
  • 21 new missions opened during her administration, 4 buildings added to Marywood College: Fine Arts Building, Physical Education Building, Immaculata Residence Hall, and Science Building
  • Member of General Council: 1931-1940 - First Assistant to Mother Josepha

Mother M. Kathleen Hart

1955 - 1962
Born: June 20, 1891 in Ashley, PA
Died: January 31, 1962
Name: Helen Hart
Parents: James B. and Mary Sullivan Hart
Entered the Congregation: September 8, 1908 at Scranton, PA
Reception of Habit: October 15, 1910
Religious Profession: August 2, 1912
Elected Superior General: 1955-1961 and 1961-1962
Interesting Information:
  • Member of General Council: 1947-1955
  • Served at 11 missions as Superior and Principal
  • Served as Supervisor of Schools, Scranton Diocese: 1944-1946
  • 1960: Obtained Decree of Praise at Papal Institute
  • 1956: Marian Convent original wing completed
  • 1959: Our Lady of Grace Convent, Manhasset, NY acquired from Peter Grace
  • 1960: Groundbreaking for Novitiate Building, now IHM Center
  • 1960-1961: Approved construction of new College buildings: Madonna Hall, Nazareth Student Center, Emmanuel Hall

Mother M. Beata Wertz

1962 - 1974
Born: July 28, 1898 in Bedford, PA
Died: September 14, 1989 in Scranton, PA
Name: Bernice Wertz
Parents: Charles A. and Margaret Schenck Wertz
Entered the Congregation: December 8, 1919
Reception of Habit: August 2, 1920
Religious Profession: August 15, 1922
Elected Superior General: 1962-1968 and 1968-1974
Interesting Information:
  • Member of General Council: 1955-1961 and 1961-1962
  • Principal and supervisor at six missionsReceived honorary L.L.D. from University of Scranton, PA
  • Presided during Renewal/Adaptation period after Vatican II
  • Accepted foreign missions in Lima, Peru and Ponce, Puerto RicoBuilt addition to Marian Convent
  • Completed IHM Novitiate Building (now IHM Center)
  • Marywood Motherhouse burned to ground: 1971
  • St. Joseph's Hospital Convent built
  • Program for education of Sisters from foreign lands: China, Africa, India and Korea

Sister Anne Fulwiler

1974 - 1978
Born: October 14, 1924 in Williamsport, PA
Died: May 02, 2012 in Scranton, PA
Name: Anne Marie Fulwiler
Parents: Harold and Joann White Fulwiler
Entered the Congregation: September, 1944
Reception of Habit: May 8, 1945 (name: Sister M. Albertus)
Religious Profession: May 8, 1947
Elected Superior General: 1974-1978
Interesting Information:
  • 1970-1974: Coordinator of Apostolic Works, IHM Congregation
  • 1975: Honorary LHD (Doctor of Humane Letters) from University of Scranton
  • 1979-2003: Canonical Consultant for St. John's Hospital, Downingtown, PA
  • 1980: Earned Masters in Church Administration from Catholic University, Washington, D.C.
  • 1981: Earned Juris Canonici Licentate from Catholic University, Washington, D.C.
  • 1981-1988: Served as Judge in Tribunal and Canonical Consultant for the religious men and women of the Archdiocese of Washington, D.C.
  • 1988-1997: Vicar for Religious, Diocese of Trenton, N.J.
  • 1997-2002: Vice-Chancellor, Diocese of Trenton, N.J.
  • September 10, 1997: Received the Benemerenti Medal from Pope John Paul II in St. Mary's Cathedral, Trenton, N.J.

Sister M. Michel Keenan

1978 - 1986
Born: March 28, 1924 in Payette, Idaho
Died: May 1, 2019 in Scranton, PA
Name: Patricia Alice Keenan
Parents: John J. and Lucille Bindel Keenan
Education: Ph.D. University of Notre Dame, South Bend, Indiana
Entered the Congregation: February 6, 1946
Reception of Habit: August 2, 1946
Religious Profession: August 2, 1948
Elected Superior General: 1978 -Focus of administration: Peace and Justice in all talks and letters.
Interesting Information:
  • 1958-1978: Marywood College, ScrantonFaculty member in Philosophy and Education Departments Graduate Dean
  • 1970-1978: Vice President for Academic Affairs, Marywood College, Scranton
  • 1973-1978: PA State Board of Education
  • 1982: Opened Avila Youth Center in Kelowna, British Columbia, Canada with 3 IHM Sisters.
  • 1982: Held Founder's Day Celebration on November 10th at the Chapel on PACA St. in Baltimore where Mother Theresa Maxis Duchemin worshiped when she was a member of the Oblates of Providence.
  • 1979: Opened House of Prayer in Verona, N.J.
  • 1984: Added wing to St. Joseph's Hospital, Carbondale, PA.
  • 1986: Presidential Medal, Marywood College, Scranton, PA. 2004: Honorary Doctorate, Marywood University, Scranton, PA.
  • 2004: Author of "Sisters, Servants of the IHM: 1919-1974" published by RoseDog Books

Sister M. Redempta Sweeney

1986 - 1994
Born: in Pittsburgh, PA
Name: Joanne Mary Sweeney
Parents: M. Leonard and Mary Agnes Ahearn Sweeney
Education: B.A., M.S. in Religious Studies, Marywood College; Further study in Rome, Italy, in the Apostolic Religious Congregations Program (ARC) 1971-1972
Entered the Congregation: September, 1955
Reception of Habit: March 12, 1956
Religious Profession: March 13, 1958
Elected Congregation Administrator: 1986-1990 and re-elected 1990-1994
Current Ministry: Prayer Minister
Interesting Information:
  • 1958-1968: Teaching Apostolate
  • 1968-1974: Director of Novices for the IHM Congregation
  • 1978-1986: Member of General Council as Director of Spiritual Renewal
  • 1987: Opened Formation Program/Novitiate in Peru
  • 1987: Hosted the Scranton Black Community to celebrate Martin Luther King Jr. Day with Eucharist and dinner
  • 1987: Future of the American Church, Washington, DC. All of the leadership team and 90 local coordinators gathered
  • 1988 - New Missions opened in Mississippi and the State of Washington - our "Preferential Option for the Poor"
  • 1989: Inclusive IHM Days with 200 of the laity, priests and religious co-workers
  • 1989: ARC Program Re-visited, Sea of Galilee, Israel
  • 1990: 25th anniversary of the Scranton IHMs in Peru
  • 1990: Founded Spiritual Renewal Center at Cresco, PA
  • 1990: Transferred IHM Novitiate to IHM Convent, River Street, Scranton
  • 1991: Collaborated with five other congregations in founding Mother Seton Academy in Baltimore, Md.
  • 1991: Established Peace Site on grounds of IHM Center
  • 1991: Refounding event with Gerald Arbuckle, Marist priest from New Zealand
  • 1991: Established Office of Development and Advisory Council for Development
  • 1992: Tri-IHM Governing Board promulgated a Holy Year to celebrate 100th anniversary of the deaths of Fr. Gillet and Mother Theresa
  • 1992: Oblate Sisters of Providence, Baltimore, Md., invited to IHM Days for first time
  • 1992: Consolidation of St. Joseph Hospital and Carbondale General Hospital and a new entity, Marian Community Hospital, is established
  • 1993: Reunion of all former members, their spouses and children at IHM Days
  • 1993: Presidential Scholarship Honoree - Marywood College
  • 1993: Hosted all the board members of the various sponsored institutions for an evening of prayer and celebration
  • 1994: Building of the hermitages at the IHM Center in Scranton and the IHM Spiritual Renewal Center in Cresco
  • 1994: Sabbatical year - Sangre de Cristo Center, Sante Fe, NM and Notre Dame University, South Bend, IN

Sister Anne Munley

1994 - 2002
Born: in Scranton, PA
Name: Anne Margaret Munley
Parents: Thomas C. and Mary L. Pickard Munley
Education: B.A. Marywood College, Scranton, PA; M.A. Catholic University, Washington D.C.; Ph.D. Boston College, Boston, MA
Entered the Congregation: September 8, 1961
Reception of Habit: June 26, 1962
Religious Profession: June 26, 1964
Elected President: 1994-2002
Current Ministry: LCWR: Associate Director for Emerging Future Initiative
Interesting Information:
  • 1974-1976: High School teacher of sociology, world cultures and economics
  • 1980-1982: Asst. Professor of Sociology, Marywood College, Scranton, PA
  • 1982-1990: Elected Assistant Congregation Admin. & Director of Apostolic Planning
  • 1990-1994: Director of Planning and Research, Marywood College, Scranton, PA
  • 1995: Visited the Sisters of St. Carimir in Lithuania after the dissolution of the Soviet Union
  • 1995: Received an honorary doctorate from Marywood University
  • 1995-1998: President of LCWR (Leadership Conference of Women Religious)
  • 1998: Helped to initiate the African Sisters Education Collaborative
  • 1999-2001: Facilitator of the 2001 Plenary of the Union of International Superior Generals; Chair of Planning Committee
  • 1997: Education of Foreign Sisters from Uganda, Korea, Tanzania, China
  • 2000: Commissioned the statue of Theresa Maxis and established the Theresa Maxis Conference Center
  • 2002: Received an honorary doctorate from the University of Scranton
  • 2002: Received the Presidential Medal from Marywood University; established the IHM Education Enrichment Institute (the EEI); oversaw the renovation of the chapel at the IHM Center
  • 2006-2008: Executive Director of ASEC (The African Sisters Education Collaborative)
  • 2007-2016: 11th President of Marywood University
  • Publications include books on aging, the hospice alternative in death and dying, contemporary social issues, and many articles on religious life and leadership.

Sister Mary Persico

2002 - 2010
Born: in Hazleton, PA
Name: Mary Angela Persico
Parents: Frank J. and Margaret Arnold Persico
Education: B.A. in French, Marywood College, Scranton, PA; M.A. in French, Assumption College, Worchester, MA; Ed.D. in Educational Leadership, Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA
Entered the Congregation: August 31, 1968
Reception of Habit: June 26, 1969
Religious Profession: June 20, 1970
Elected President: 2002-2010
Current Ministry: President of Maywood University
Interesting Information:
  • 1970-1978: French teacher in high schools in New York and PA
    1978-1980: Assistant Principal: Bishop Klonowski High School, Scranton, PA
  • 1980-1994: Principal: Notre Dame High School, East Stroudsburg, PA and Holy Cross High School, Delran, NJ
  • Adjunct professor at Marywood University, Scranton, PA
  • 1994-2002: Elected treasurer of IHM Congregation  
  • President of Lackawanna County Chapter of Habitat for Humanity
  • October 11, 2003: Sponsored reunion with Srs. of St.Casmir, Srs. of St. Cyril and Methoius and IHMs
  • Planned with administration for new Marian Convent, groundbreaking held on July 23, 2004
  • June 25-28, 2004: Conducted convocation for IHM future presence in South America 
  • October 28, 2016: Installed as the 12th President of Maywood University

Sister Therese O'Rourke

2010 - 2014
Born: in Wilkes-Barre, PA
Name: Therese O'Rourke
Parents: John and Rose Kielty O'Rourke
Education: B.S. in Elementary Education/Art Education, Marywood College, Scranton, PA; MEd in Elementary Administration, Xavier University, Cincinnati, OH; MSW in Social Work, Marywood College, Scranton, PA
Entered the Congregation: August 4, 1968
Reception of Habit: June 26, 1969
Religious Profession: June 20, 1970
Elected President: 2010-2014
Current Ministry: Projects Coordinator at Friends of the Poor
Interesting Information:
  • 1978-1985: Principal: Wyoming Area Catholic School, Exeter, PA
  • 1985-1990: Assistant Superintendent of Schools for the Diocese of Scranton, PA
  • Elected IHM Congregation Assistant Administrator and Director of Apostolic Planning (1990-1998)
  • 1998-2001: Worked for Catholic Social Services as St. Patrick's Elementary School, Scranton, PA 
  • 2002-2010: President and CEO St. Joseph's Center, Scranton, PA

Sister Ellen Maroney

2014 - 2022
Born: in Syracuse, NY
Name: Ellen Marie Maroney
Parents: John and Catherine Menten Maroney
Education: B.A. in Social Studies, Marywood College, Scranton PA; M.A. in American History, Catholic University of America, Washington, DC; M.A. in Pastoral Counseling, Marywood University, Scranton, PA
Entered the Congregation: September 1, 1968
Reception of Habit: June 26, 1969
Religious Profession: June 6, 1971
Elected President: 2014
Current Ministry: Transition Team Member, Sisters of Saint Casimir

Sister Kathryn Clauss

Born: in Scranton, PA
Name: Mary Kathryn Clauss
Parents: James and Marion Lynch Clauss
Education: B.A. in Education/English, Marywood College, Scranton, PA; M.A. in Counseling, Marywood College, Scranton, PA; PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy, Seton Hall University, South Orange, NJ
Entered the Congregation: September 1, 1968
Reception of Habit: June 26, 1969
Religious Profession: June 6, 1971
Elected President: 2022
Current Ministry: President of IHM Congregation