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Sister Maureen Fallon: supported by the Ministry Fund

Sister Maureen Fallon, at left, in her ministry as assistant principal at Bishop McNamara Catholic School in Kankakee, Illinois.

Donors to the Sisters of Providence are making Catholic education more accessible in Kankakee, Illinois.

Because a grant from the donor-funded Ministry Fund of the Sisters of Providence covers a portion of Sister Maureen Fallon’s salary as assistant principal at Bishop McNamara Catholic School in Kankakee, this financial savings to the school allows some 15 students who otherwise would not be able to afford a Catholic education to receive scholarships to attend the school.

The Ministry Fund helps provide salaries for Sisters of Providence and others to allow them to minister with people who are economically poor.

“I feel so honored to have received the Ministry Fund award so I can serve here and free up funds for scholarships to help students. These are young people like those whom Saint Mother Theodore might have taught. They really want a Catholic education but need help to get one,” Sister Maureen said.

Bishop McNamara Catholic School (BMCS) serves 900 youths in the Diocese of Joliet on three campuses in the Bradley (PreK-6), Bourbonnais (PreK-6) and Kankakee (grades 7-12) communities of northern Illinois.

As assistant principal at the Kankakee campus which serves more than 460 middle and secondary school students, Sister Maureen is responsible for curriculum and instruction. She facilitates scheduling, textbook management, and accreditation work. She also assures students with special needs receive services and arranges collaborations for dual credit classes with near-by Kankakee Community College.

“Thanks to these collaborations, as well as the Advanced Placement classes we offer at BMCS, two-thirds of our school’s graduates arrive at college with 8-13 credits in subjects like math, psychology, chemistry and general college studies,” she said.

Students come to BMCS from Kankakee and 22 surrounding cities and towns. Many are second and third generation students at the school. The school is becoming more diverse as the Hispanic population grows in its partner grade schools and BMCS adds exchange programs. In recent years, for example, BMCS has enrolled several students from Mainland China, Mexico, Germany and Norway.

Love of education

A lifelong educator, Sister Maureen says she hopes through her leadership, she will be able “to increase Catholic identity in the culture of the school, guide programs to increase enrollment and improve the quality of instruction.”

“I don’t know what NOT being an educator would be like,” she said. “I love the ministry because it affects the lives and growth of others in so many ways.”

One of Sister Maureen’s favorite ways to relax is to go down to the park by the Kankakee River. “It is so peaceful there and I think of Mother Theodore walking by the Wabash River. I think of the long line of SPs to whom I am connected as her daughter.”

“I am very grateful to those who contribute to the Ministry Fund and make it possible for me to be in this place to minister. Along with Sisters Rosa Pan and Rosemary Rafter, I am proud to be carrying on the legacy of the Sisters of Providence in the Diocese of Joliet,” she said.

(Originally published in the Fall 2017 issue of HOPE magazine.)

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Sister Cathy Campbell

Sister Cathy Campbell, SP, is a freelance writer and editor. She holds a Doctor of Ministry degree in Spirituality from Catholic Theological Union/Chicago. Sister Cathy also ministers as a retreat facilitator for the Providence Spirituality and Conference Center with special interests in scripture and the mystics.

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