Alumna and long-time St. Catherine University staff member Mary Ann Fath, CSJ, ’56 died on December 9, 2018, at the age of 84.
Sister Mary Ann grew up on her family's farm in DeGraff, Minnesota. She first began to consider the sisterhood in high school after meeting a delegation from the Sisters of the Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary in Aberdeen, South Dakota. She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph in 1952, taking her first vows in 1955 and her final vows in 1960. In 1956, she earned a bachelor of arts degree from St. Kate’s. At no point did she consider what her career within the sisterhood would be, and did whatever work was needed as it came along. Sister Mary Ann compiled a life list of jobs that included grading papers in parochial schools, planting flowers, tending to the elderly and making meals for the other Sisters.
In 1972, as many Catholic grade schools and high schools began to close, Sister Mary Ann brought her talents to St. Kate's, where she worked as a groundskeeper until her retirement in 2016. She was known to many as “Sister John Deere”, a student nickname that acknowledged Sister Mary Ann's many years helping to keep the campus lawns and green spaces trimmed and tidy.
Thanks to her long career at the University, Sister Mary Ann encountered nearly every student who stepped on campus over a 40-plus year span; at the very least, her work touched their lives. A basketball player during her years as a St. Kate’s student, Sister Mary Ann was always a fan of sports teams at the University. Whether she was cheering on the basketball team, removing snow from the sidewalks or pacing the sidelines at a soccer match, Sister Mary Ann was something of a University mascot.
Funeral services for Sister Mary Ann will be Friday, December 14, in Our Lady of the Presentation Chapel on Randolph Avenue in St. Paul. Visitation will be at 10 a.m. followed by Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. Lunch will be served following Mass in the Carondelet Center Dining Room.