A native of St. Louis, Missouri, Sister Mary Ellen was a Sister of Mercy for 72 years. She ministered in education, pastoral care and mission integration, most recently as a sister chaplain at Mercy Health Care System in Chesterfield, Missouri. She also had served in elected leadership for the Sisters of Mercy in the former St. Louis Regional Community.
Earlier, Sister Ellen taught at St. Joan of Arc and Mercy High School in St. Louis and St. Ambrose School in Chaffee, Missouri. She also served as a retreat director at St. Joseph Convent of Mercy in St. Louis.
Always a warm and gracious hostess, she enjoyed having sisters, family members and friends over for dinner and celebrations. She was a marvelous cook and enjoyed gardening and the natural world. A gifted musician, Sister Ellen played piano and organ and had a beautiful singing voice.
In addition, Sister Ellen had a keen intellect and was a passionate advocate for human rights, particularly for women. She attended the United Nations NGO Forum for Women in Beijing, China, in 1995, as well as several meetings of the International Council of Churches.