Sr. Mary Ann Hathaway (also known by her religious name Sr. John Mary) was born in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma on May 6, 1931 to Stanley and Mary Evelyn (Fegel) Hathaway. Sr. Mary Ann’s one sibling is Sister Theresa Hathaway. Her early education was at Bishop John Carroll School and St. Teresa of Avila in Oklahoma.
Her family moved to Portland in 1945 where Sr. Mary Ann attended Madeleine Catholic School and St. Mary’s Academy before graduating from St. Mary of the Valley (now Valley Catholic School) in 1948. Sister earned her bachelor’s degree in education from Marylhurst College in 1958, her Master’s degree from Seattle University in 1973 and an Oregon Principal Certification from Portland State University in 1982. A life-long learner, Sr. Mary Ann continued with summer course work at Our Lady of Peace Retreat and Pacific University.
From her childhood, Sr. Mary Ann knew God called her to religious life. It was with great joy that she accepted Mother Collette’s invitation to enter the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon on Aug. 15, 1948. She made her profession of perpetual vows Aug. 15, 1953.
Catholic education was the focus of Sr. Mary Ann’s ministry in the Archdiocese of Portland. Sr. Mary Ann taught and modeled the Good News of God’s great love for each person she encountered. She served as a teacher throughout Oregon at Visitation in Verboort, Our Lady of Sorrows in Portland, St. Cecilia in Beaverton, St. John the Baptist in Milwaukie, Sacred Heart in Gervais, St. Michael in Grande Ronde, and St. Pius X in Portland. During her 18 years as a school principal, Sr. Mary Ann served at Our Lady of Sorrows and then at St. Francis in Roy. Thousands of students remember her today with love and a greater awareness of God’s love for them.
One of Sr. Mary Ann’s talents that she shared with others was nature photography. A treasured experience for her was a 1987 trip to see Pope John Paul II in San Francisco. Faithfulness to the Church and its leadership was a hallmark of Sr. Mary Ann’s life. She was also keenly aware of God’s constant love as assured in Psalm 91:11 – “For He commands His angels, to guard you in all of your ways.” With that assurance, Sr. Mary Ann met life with a trusting, joy-filled smile. Every challenge was an encounter with the loving Father. She also brought every challenge to the Blessed Virgin Mary for help and guidance. She knew in Mary the example of living as a compassionate servant of the Lord.
Sister Mary Ann passed away on July 3, 2022. She is missed, loved and survived by her sister Sr. Theresa Hathaway, her cousins Barbara Whelden and Irene Ortiz and their families, her Sisters in Community, and the SSMO Motherhouse caregivers and nursing staff. Sr. Mary Ann was preceded in death by her parents Stanley and Mary Evelyn Hathaway.
May Sister Mary Ann rest in God’s loving embrace.
Visit our Flickr page to see photos of Sr. Mary Ann: