Sister Mary Ellen Lowney (Frances Mary Bridget Lowney) died on Jan. 30, 2020. She was born in the Town of Bear Creek, Waupaca County, on April 23, 1922, the only daughter of Will and Helen Nolan Lowney. Sister Mary Ellen once wrote, "I had a happy childhood, was spoiled to a degree for only six years until Bill was born, and a year later, Leonard. "
She was a member of St. Mary Parish, Bear Creek. Sister Mary Ellen was received as a Sister of St. Francis of the Holy Cross on August 9, 1939 -- "with never a regret," she'd say. She celebrated her 80th anniversary in August 2019. "Being a member of the Sisters of St. Francis of the Holy Cross has enriched my life," she wrote. "I am still the same person I was when I entered in 1939. Our lives are very normal with their ups and downs, joys and crosses. But the enrichment has occurred in my prayer life. How could I not be enriched with participation in daily Mass, community prayer morning and evening, and ample time for personal prayer?" she says.
Sister Mary Ellen carried out the mission of the Church, serving God as a teacher in Institute; as principal and teacher in Mishicot; as Religious Education Coordinator in Combined Locks; as a staff member at the House of Prayer at the Chapel in Champion; and in service to the Community as Novice Directress, guiding young women preparing for their initial vows; Community Leader as the global Church began to understand and implement the renewal of the Second Vatican Council; and the first director of the community's Development Office – 60 years of service.
Sister Mary Ellen considered her greatest gift from God to be her gift of faith in the Blessed Trinity. Her special joy was giving gratitude to God and to the Church, to her Religious Community, to her family (her wonderful nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews), to her special sister-in-law Rosemary, and to her many friends. Sister Mary Ellen will be remembered for her laughter and love of celebrations and Community parties for any occasion.
Visitation for Sister Mary Ellen was held at the Motherhouse, and the funeral Mass was held at Holy Cross Church, Green Bay. The Rev. Dean Dombroski was the celebrant.
If you would like to offer a memorial gift in Sister Mary Ellen's honor, please see our online form or our mail-in form. Your gift will support the care and ministries of our Sisters. Thank you and God bless.