Sister Marion MacDonell
(Sister M. Alexander)
October 18, 1937 to September 20, 2021
It is with sadness that The Sisters of St. Joseph of Sault Ste. Marie announce the death of Sister Marion MacDonell (Sister M. Alexander) on September 20, 2021, at St. Joseph’s Motherhouse, North Bay, Ontario.
Sister Marion was born in Sudbury, Ontario, the second of three girls of Marguerite (nee Boudreau) and Alexander MacDonell (both predeceased). She is predeceased by her sister, Iona MacDonell and survived by her devoted sister Anne Marie MacDonell, her niece Claire Greenaway, great niece Hailey and nephew Martin Greenaway.
Marion entered the Congregation of The Sisters of St. Joseph of Sault Ste. Marie on February 6, 1955 from her home parish of Christ the King, Sudbury.
Marion’s gift for music was recognized at an early age. Her first formal music teachers were Sisters Gabriel and Carmen. She continued her music studies under the direction of Sister Immaculata while a student at St. Joseph’s College, North Bay.
Her first mission assignment brought her to St. Mary’s Academy in North Bay in 1957 where she taught piano and theory. In 1960, following final vows, Marion’s music teacher assignments brought her to Fort William (Thunder Bay), Schreiber, Sault Ste. Marie, Wawa, and Terrace Bay. She taught piano, organ and guitar as well as other instruments.
It was during her final 11 years of teaching music, that she served as a staff member of the Algoma Conservatory of Music at the Algoma University College in Sault Ste. Marie. It was here that both she and Sister Teresa Casey served as two of the founding and original staff members of the program. Following a sabbatical, Marion enrolled in the Corporate Ministry program in St. Louis, Missouri.
On her return to Canada, she served in parish ministry in Manitouwadge. In the spring of 1988, Sister Marion, began clinical pastoral education studies at the Toronto General Hospital, completing studies at St. Michael’s College, Toronto, receiving a diploma in Theology in December 1989.
In January 1990, Marion was assigned Pastoral Associate in the Pastoral Services Department at St. Joseph’s Hospital, Blind River, where she assisted in facilitating a Palliative Care Training Program and studied French as a second language.
Involvement and participation in choirs was a source of personal enjoyment, and an opportunity to give expression to her Scottish Celtic roots!
She was a member of the Chamber Singers of Algoma, performing in International Choral Festival concerts and the North Bay Choral Society. In recent years she renewed acquaintances when they performed at the Motherhouse.
Marion’s life continued to give witness to others. Her smile and laughter not only lit up the room but it spoke to others of a woman whose spirit in illness was indeed ‘alive!’
Sister Marion will be received at St. Joseph’s Motherhouse at 2:00 pm on Sunday, September 26. Mass of the Resurrection will be celebrated at St. Joseph’s Motherhouse, Sacred Heart Chapel at 1:30 pm on Monday, September 27, 2021.
During these unprecedented COVID times, it is with regret that The Sisters of St. Joseph will not have a public funeral liturgy. Burial will follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery, North Bay, Ontario.
In lieu of flowers, donations to the works and ministries of The Sisters of St. Joseph would be greatly appreciated.
Sister Marion rest in peace.
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