Sister Mary Ann Francis Henkel was a Sister of Mercy for 82 years. Much of her life was spent as a teacher and a principal in Tennessee Catholic Schools. She served in Nashville, Memphis, Knoxville, Johnson City, Kingsport, Springfield, and Alcoa. She was devoted to visitation in hospitals and nursing homes and taught Religious Education. After retiring from education, Sister Mary Ann took up active ministries at Saint Bernard and Mercy Convents in Nashville, Tennessee. She ministered as Sacristan and Librarian. With an extensive knowledge of the history of the Sisters of Mercy in Tennessee, she documented it with accuracy and diligence. Tasks of washing tables, locking up, and staffing the Reception Desk were accomplished with faithfulness. She was active in Mercy Convent’s Retreat Ministry, and her hospitality to the guests reflected the very legacy of Catherine McAuley.
On her 100th birthday, she expressed her joy with these words, “The Sisters are wonderful to me. I feel part of the community. They’re kind; they’re watching for my wants. I think that is beautiful.”