Sr. Margaret (Margaret John) Lanen

"Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life.'" – John 14:6

I was born in Lawrence, MA, to faith-filled parents – Margaret and John – the third child in a family with one brother and one sister. Having attended Notre Dame schools from first grade to sophomore year at Emmanuel College, I had many wonderful models in the Sisters of Notre Dame including Sr. Elizabeth St. James,my first grade teacher who made our classroom of 53 students so warm and welcoming.

At my first mission, St. Mary’s School in Lynn, MA, I taught high school math and religion and met many wonderful people both staff and students. Living in a large community of Sisters I was grateful for their help and support as I began my teaching career.

I was teaching at Cardinal Cushing High School in South Boston the year forced busing was implemented in Boston. There were many protests in the streets, some violent, but the school was committed to an integrated student body. Administration and teachers worked together to make Cardinal Cushing a safe place. Our care extended beyond the school grounds as we teachers and staff would walk students to and from the subway stations to ensure their safety.

Later I had the joy of helping establish an ESOL distance learning program at our Notre Dame Education Center in South Boston. Students participated via the internet and it enabled so many more students to learn English sooner rather than having to wait for a spot in a classroom to open up.

I still see the great need for learning English from my recent time volunteering at the Texas border. Sisters of Notre Dame are committed to helping refugees and regularly volunteer at the Catholic Charities Humanitarian Respite Center. The center provides everything from bus tickets to toiletries to food. I made many ham and cheese sandwiches that week and saw the plight of immigrants firsthand.

At the time of my 60th Jubilee as a Sister in 2019, I appreciate the opportunity to be part of an international religious community whose charism of God’s goodness and service to the poor was present wherever I served. I felt animated and supported in each ministry as teacher and pastoral minister in the U.S. and also during my time in Peru, South Africa and Congo.



St. Mary High School, Lynn, MA
St Gregory High School, Dorchester, MA
Bishop Stang High School, North Dartmouth, MA
Cardinal Cushing High School, South Boston, MA
Notre Dame Education Center, South Boston, MA

Pastoral Ministry

St Peter and Paul Parish, South Boston, MA
St William Parish, Dorchester, MA

Community Organizing & Integration Coordinator

West Broadway Housing Development, South Boston, MA
Jala Peo Center in Kroonstad, South Africa

Service to the Sisters

Boston Province Provincial Team
Computer teacher of SNDdeNs at Kinshasa, Congo for two summer programs