Sister Marian Cowan, CSJ 1932-2015


April 8, 1932 - November 7, 2015

Please pray for the repose of the soul of Sister Marian Cowan, CSJ who passed away on November 7 at Regional Health System in Osage Beach, Missouri. She was 83 years of age.

Sister Marian was born on April 8, 1932, in St. Louis, Missouri, to parents Clyde L. and Esther (Koenig) Cowan. She entered the Sisters of St. Joseph on September 15, 1949, was received as Sister Mary Clyde and made her final profession on August 15, 1957.

She received her bachelor’s degree in art from Fontbonne College in St. Louis in 1965 and master's degrees in elementary education administration from the University of Notre Dame in 1968 and in spiritual theology from St. Louis University Institute of Religious Formation in 1975. 

Sister Marian began her 65 years as a CSJ as teacher.  She taught in St. Louis at Saints John & James Grade School (1952-59), Our Lady of Lourdes Grade School (1959-60) and at St. Matthew the Apostle Grade School.  In Denver, Colorado in the early 1960's, she taught at St. Patrick Grade School and was the assistant principal and teacher at St. James Grade School. From 1964-67, Sister Marian was the principal at St. Viator Grade School in Chicago, Illinois.

Returning to St. Louis in 1967, Sister Marian was a student at St. Louis University Institute for Religious Formation. In 1968, she began six years of service for her CSJ community at the St. Joseph Provincial House as vocation director, formation director and director applicant for associates/novices/temporary professed. And prior to completing her CSJ service, Sister Marian also served at St. Louis University Institute of Religious Formation as a staff member until 1976.  The next five years, Sister Marian was a co-founder and staff member at Ministry Training Services in Denver.

In 1982, Sister Marian served as general councilor at the St. Joseph Generalate (now the Congregational Center for the Sisters of St. Joseph) when it was located on the St. Joseph's Academy campus.

In 1990, she began 25 years of service as an artist and a spiritual life consultant. Sister Marian was widely known for her work in spiritual direction.  She was an Ignatian scholar and an internationally -recognized leader in the field of spiritual direction.  She co-founded St. Louis’ Bridges Program which leads individuals over a period of months through the Ignatian Spiritual Exercises, and has mentored spiritual directors internationally. She has been published in Sisters Today, Human Development, The Round Table (Karen Catholic Worker House), Harvest, and Liguorian. She published, with John Futrell, S.J., Companions in Grace, and was a contributor to Tending the Holy: Spiritual Direction Across Traditions, edited by Norven Vest.

For many years, Sister Marian worked from her art studio on the motherhouse campus and created works across many forms of art media. Numerous pieces of Sister Marian's artwork can be found in and around the the St. Louis Motherhouse  and in places such as Nazareth Living Center, Queen and Mother Center and Kings House Retreat Center.

She moved to Nazareth Living Center in December of 2014 and joined the community in the ministry of prayer and presence.

Funeral services will be held Thursday, November 12, 2015 at Nazareth Living Center Chapel, 2 Nazareth Lane, St. Louis, MO 63129.  Wake will be at 9:00 a.m. and  Mass of the Resurrection to follow at 10:00 a.m.  Burial at Resurrection Cemetery.

Memorial contributions may be made to the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, St. Louis Province, 6400 Minnesota Ave., St. Louis, MO 63111-2899. Donate online.







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