sister margaret hamm



 April 16, 1943 - November 3, 2014 

Compassionate towards those in pain; passionate about Mother Earth and all its creatures

“We believe that Creation is a sacred trust given to the whole Earth community.” (Congregational Chapter Document, 2013.) Sister Margaret Hamm tried to live this statement and worked to educate and invite others to do the same.

Margaret was born in St. Louis, Missouri on April 16, 1943, to Edward and Helen (Klosterman) Hamm. Four- year-old Edward was her only sibling. She attended St. Paul the Apostle Grade School and St. Mark’s High School. Some of her activities there included playing varsity volleyball and basketball, writing for the school newspaper and participating in the school operetta. (In addition, she confessed she enjoyed watching and collecting insects—not a surprise to those who knew Maggie!) After receiving a degree in physical therapy from St. Louis University in 1965, Margaret entered the Sisters of St. Joseph on Sept. 8 of that year.

S. Margaret earned a degree in occupational therapy from Washington University in 1970 and was appointed director of physical therapy at St. Joseph Hospital in Kirkwood, Missouri. In 1984, she received the Ann and Jack Ryan Award for literary excellence. Also in 1984, upon getting a Master’s degree in Hospital Administration from St. Louis University, S. Margaret began a one-year residency program with the Wichita Sisters of St. Joseph. During her first five months, Wichita was the base from which she visited various health facilities; the rest of the year was spent as an administrative resident at St. Rose Hospital in Hayward, California, another of their facilities. 

In 1985, S. Margaret became assistant administrator at St. Joseph in Kirkwood. In 1990, she took some time off to enter the Emmaus program in St. Louis and then spent the next 10 years doing physical therapy in connection with various BJC facilities. Becoming interested in another method of therapy, she enrolled in the Barbara Brennen School of Healing in 2002. During this time, S. Margaret affiliated herself with Core Services and was still connected with them at the time of her death. She also operated her own practice of Energetic Healing therapy in Brentwood, Missouri from 2006 to 2011 and opened a practice in Kirkwood in 2011. 

Throughout the years, her concern for the environment brought Maggie to write a number of articles for the PNN: explaining global warming clearly and concisely; sharing her experience of using red worms for composting vegetable waste and mixing worm castings with potting or garden soil to enrich it; discussing the decision to buy hybrids in light of global warming even though it is not an economical choice; or urging us to keep studying ways to take care of our Earth.

Many shared stories of how S. Maggie ushered God’s tiniest creatures out of the house rather than dispatching them, or of her feeding strays at her door, both wild and domesticated. But, more numerous are the stories of S. Maggie’s gift of healing, her excellence as a healer using both physical therapy and the integrative energy technique. She had great empathy for those in pain, even making house calls if someone couldn’t get to her. 

“She had this ‘sense’ of balance that seemed to drive the way she lived and served… She knew how to touch so that negative energy was released…” (S. Barbara Dreher) “While she worked on healing….we had wonderful discussions about everything under the sun…. She was such a wonderful healer and so much fun.” (S. Mary Carol Anth). “A very competent health care provider…a great loss.” (S. Pat Hauser) “While S. Maggie was studying, I felt privileged to have her practice her Integrative Energy Healing on me!” (S. Paulette Gladis) “She knew exactly where to ‘zero in’ and send the energy for relief of pain. She was always so amiable as she worked on me. I will greatly miss her.” (S. Ann Pace) 

Sister Helen Oates

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