Sister Margaret "Shawn" (Agnes Shawn) Scanlan

Sister Margaret "Shawn" entered the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur on August 14, 1955, initially taking the name Sister Agnes Shawn. She currently lives in Cincinnati, Ohio. In 2015, on the occasion of her 60th Jubilee as a Sister she wrote the following reflection:

"Jubilee gives me the opportunity to reflect on three aims in Pope Francis’ Letter to all Consecrated Persons on the Occasion of this Year of Consecrated Life.

"As I celebrate 60 years in Notre Dame, I reflect primarily on the First Aim: To Look at the Past with Gratitude. My parents (John Jeremiah and Agnes Mary) and my five siblings (Patsy, John, Sheila, Jim and Tom) surrounded me with love and care. My father organized poultry cooperatives throughout the States as an economist with the Department of Agriculture, and my mother taught in D.C. public schools. Still, they managed to drive us to visit our relatives in Iowa and Minnesota, thus grounding us in our heritage from the Irish counties of Kerry, Limerick and Cork.

"My faith was additionally fostered by Holy Cross Sisters, Visitation Sisters and Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur. Further education at Penn State University, the Washington Theological Union and Catholic University of America assisted my later ministries.

"I was gifted with missions to third and sixth grades, teaching secondary Science, Math and Religion and assigned principalship at Notre Dame High School, Moylan, Pa. In later missions I served as: West Virginia county extension agent for the Department of Agriculture; executive director of the Catholic Committee of Appalachia; coordinator of flood recovery center in southwest West Virginia; regional coordinator of education and faith formation for West Virginia’s eastern panhandle; SNDdeN administrator during province transition times; and later for the SNDdeN Chesapeake Province. At times I also served as: camp counselor; staff of a soup kitchen, women’s center, home for the mentally challenged, E.V. O’Hare Rural Ministry Institute, WTU’s curriculum and development office; and chaplaincy in three hospitals. Wherever it was, I was graced, near or far, by SNDdeNs’ faith-filled lives.

"The Second Aim: To Live the Present with Passion/Fervor is a challenge now to deepen my faith, by being attentive to the Holy Spirit in our times of increasing change.

"The Third Aim: To Embrace the Future with Hope is for me to “embrace” hope despite the deaths of my five siblings, the situation of women in the world and Church, world-wide poverty and violence, and the challenges facing active religious in this country. I pray that my trust in God’s Goodness may increase and sustain me in the times to come and that this gift may be for others."