Mary Jane (John Marie) Slaney, OSB
Saint Benedict’s Monastery
St. Joseph, Minn.
October 26, 1923 – June 18, 2020
Sister Mary Jane (John Marie) Slaney died on June 18, 2020, at Saint Scholastica Convent, St. Cloud, Minn. A private service will take place at Saint Benedict’s Monastery, St. Joseph, on Monday, June 22, 2020. A memorial Eucharist will be held at a later date. Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to Benson Funeral Home.
Mary Jane Slaney was born October 26, 1923, to Patrick Henry and Mary Fay (Ryan) Slaney in Melancthon Creek, Wis., the first of four children. She attended Soules Creek, Melancthon Public and St. Mary’s Elementary School in Richland Center, Wis., and Saint Benedict’s Academy in St. Joseph, Minn. She entered Saint Benedict’s Monastery in 1938 and was received into the novitiate as Sister John Marie in June 1943. She made first monastic profession in 1945 and perpetual monastic profession on July 11, 1948. She was one of the original group of sisters who volunteered to help found Saint Bede Monastery, Eau Claire, Wis., in 1948, and was a member of that community until 2010 when the Saint Bede sisters merged back with Saint Benedict’s Monastery.
A graduate of the College of St. Catherine, St. Paul, Minn., S. Mary Jane took a triple major in library science, history and elementary education. She received a Master of Education degree in instructional resources, an educational specialist degree in higher education, the adult learner and instructional resources, and a doctorate in secondary education, curriculum and instructional resources, all from the University of Arkansas, Fayetteville, Ark. She also attended College of Saint Benedict, St. Joseph, Minn., St. Paul Diocesan Teachers’ College, Viterbo College, La Crosse, Wis., University of Indiana, Bloomington, Ind., University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wis., University of Wisconsin, River Falls, Wis., and Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Mich.
Education formed the core of S. Mary Jane’s earlier years as a sister. She served both as elementary teacher and principal, teaching in St. Joseph and Breckenridge in Minnesota and in Eau Claire, Ellsworth, Altoona, Onalaska, La Crosse and Richland Center in Wisconsin. Later she turned to a second career in library and media services. As librarian, she worked in a variety of library services including at the College of Saint Scholastica, Duluth, Minn., Regis High School in Eau Claire, and at Springfield Catholic High School in Springfield, Mo. For many years, she continued to reside in Missouri, serving as pastoral minister at St. Agnes Cathedral in Springfield, working with elderly, sick, dying and homebound persons. On retirement, she continued to volunteer in related areas until her return to Minnesota in 2018, where she resided at Saint Scholastica Convent.
In addition to the sisters in her Benedictine community, S. Mary Jane is survived by many nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her parents, two brothers, Joseph and Thomas, and a sister, Kathleen.
Please direct memorial gifts to the Sisters of the Order of Saint Benedict Outreach Ministries Fund.
Her death was not related to COVID-19.