Sister Mary (John Coleman) Reardon was born and raised in Boston, the eldest of four children born to John and Barbara Reardon. As she recalls, "Our Catholic Faith and Irish heritage were both a significant part of the fabric of our lives growing up." When she was in the fifth grade, her parents enrolled her as a student into St. Augustine School in South Boston. It was there that she met the Sisters of Notre Dame. She graduated in 1963 and, shortly thereafter, entered into the community.
After making her first profession of vows, she began a course of studies in history and education at Emmanuel College. Further studies followed at Salem State University where she completed a Master's program in Education. During that same period, her younger sister gave birth to two daughters. She was now a proud aunt!
Sister Mary began her teaching ministry in the third grade at Hudson. She recalls of her time there, "The kids were great. But I must admit that any day the kids stayed in their seats was a personal satisfaction. I like to believe things got better as I traveled throughout the Boston diocese over the next two decades teaching in elementary and high schools in Methuen, Dorchester, Marblehead, Somerville, Cambridge and South Boston. I loved every minute of it."
Eventually, she transitioned into ministry on the parish level, working as a pastoral associate and Religious Education Director. She organized sacramental programs, liturgies, parent catechesis and invited lay volunteers to participate in the catechesis of families in Charlestown, Lynn, Salem and East Weymouth, Mass. These ministries were transformative for her. She enjoyed experiencing the many gifts of God’s People being shared and enjoyed for the building of the church.
After completing thirteen happy years at the Immaculate Conception Parish in East Weymouth the spirit was moving her to enter a totally new ministry, not yet certain of what it might entrail. However, one day the phone rang …. and Sister Mary Reardon answered the call. I agreed to take on the role of Assistant Director of the Diaconate Formation Program. This role would provide her the opportunity to support women whose husbands were in formation to become deacons. It was a wonderful experience of ministry for her and she recalls meeting many inspiring women and men during those ten years of working in the program.
Presently, she is involved in a Literacy Program in Quincy, tutoring adults wishing to speak and read English. Their enthusiasm is engaging for Sister Mary. The literacy staff is encouraging students' online learning, and Sister Mary enjoys the challenge and excitement of growing together with her students.
At the time of her 60th Jubilee, Sister Mary Reardon writes, "I am grateful to those Sisters who taught, inspired, encouraged and befriended me over these 60 years. God is indeed good!"