Sister Jean Mary Michalec, Maryknoll Sisters for 57 Years Dies

Maryknoll, NY: Sister Jean Mary Michalec died on October 1st, 2019 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center in Maryknoll, NY. She was a Maryknoll Sisters for 57 years and would have been 80 years old on October 13th.

Mary Jean Michalec was born in New Westminster, British Columbia, Canada on October 13th, 1939 to Terezia (Lukacik) Michalec and John Michalec.  She had one brother named William. Her parents and brother have both pre-deceased her.

From 1953-1957, Mary Jean attended St. Ann’s Academy in New Westminster, B.C.  She then attended the University of B.C., Vancouver, Canada and graduated in 1961 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Chemistry.  She entered the Maryknoll Sisters Novitiate in Valley Park, MO on October 18th, 1962 from her home Parish of SS Cyril and Methodius (Diocese of Vancouver, Canada).  At her Reception she received the religious name, Sister Jean Mary.  She made her First Profession of Vows on June 24th, 1965 at the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY and her Final Vows in Japan on June 20th, 1971.

In 1965, Sister Jean studied Bio-Chemistry at Mary Rogers College in Maryknoll, NY until she was assigned to Japan in 1966. Upon arrival, she began studying the Japanese language and continued her studies in Bio-Chemistry at Sophia University in Tokyo from 1971 – 1972. She earned a Master of Arts Degree in Bio-Chemistry in 1973.

Sister Jean began teaching Biology and Chemistry at Sophia University from 1973-1983, but also continued her studies and earned a Doctor of Science Degree in 1979.  She then returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY to serve in the Admissions Office from 1983-1986.

She then was called back to Japan to teach science once again at Sophia University until 2004.  During these years, Sister Jean also engaged in a variety of volunteer work: counseling prisoners, teaching foreign prisoners Japanese and working with migrants and students.

In 2002, she served on the Formators Committee of Women Major Superiors.  Sister Jean then helped organize the Committee for Women’s Conference, gave English editorial assistance for the National Christian Conference of Japan, and volunteered at Kalakasan Migrant Center all in 2006.  She assisted with English Communication for the Apostolic Nunciature of the Holy See in Tokyo in 2008.

In 2014, Sister Jean returned to the Maryknoll Sisters Center, Maryknoll, NY to retire. She began a prayer ministry with a focus on Japan.

A Vespers Service will be held for Sister Jean Mary on Friday, October 18th, 2019 at 4:15 p.m. in the Chapel of the Annunciation at the Maryknoll Sisters Center.   

A Funeral Mass will follow on Saturday, October 19th, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. also in the Chapel of the Annunciation at the Center.   Interment will follow in the Maryknoll Sisters Cemetery on the Center grounds.