Born in Portland, Maine, Sister Jean attended St. Patrick’s Elementary School and was a graduate of Cathedral High School. Sister Jean entered the Sisters of Mercy in 1957 and earned her B.S. in education from St. Joseph’s College, Standish, and an M.Ed. from Boston College.
Sister Jean began her career in parochial education, but in 1968, her career path changed; she began her ministry in the Diocesan Bureau of Human Relations (now Catholic Charities Maine), Portland. She assumed the new position as director of St. Elizabeth’s Child Development Center and administrator of Holy Innocents Home Care, Portland. This program focused on providing home care for children, the elderly and low-income families, a ministry that brought out her love and compassion for all.
In 1978, Sister Jean was selected by her community to be a member of the Renewal Team, where she generously shared her gifts of deep faith in God and in her religious vocation. Following that three-year appointment, she was called to be superior of St. Joseph’s Motherhouse Community, serving with great energy and enthusiasm. She then went to Biddeford as a pastoral associate at St. Mary’s Parish. Following this assignment, she was elected to the leadership team of the Mercy Community and also served as ministry director from 1990 to 1994. During this time, she also served as a member of the Bishop’s Task Force for the Future of the Church in Maine.
In 1994, Sister Jean was co-director of the Mercy Associates before becoming director of volunteer services for the Refugee Settlement Program of Catholic Charities Maine. Her kind heart understood the duress refugees experienced in moving from their homelands. In 1998, Sister Jean was elected regional president of the Portland Community, a position she held until 2006. During these years, she moved the community through challenging times, doing so with humility, wisdom and reliance on God.
Sister Jean enjoyed getting to know people and sharing with them her life experiences. She had a keen sense of history and events, recalling them to mind quickly. She was an avid reader and took pleasure in traveling, especially to visit her cousins.
Sister Jean’s motto, “Omnia,” meaning “all things” was reflected in her intention to give all of herself to God.