Sister Maryellen was born in St. Louis, Missouri. She was received into the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet in 1958 as Sister Thomas Maureen. She received a bachelor’s degree in business education from Fontbonne College in 1964, and a master’s in liturgy from the University of Notre Dame in 1971.
Sister Maryellen served her first 12 years of ministry in education. She taught at American Martyrs Grade School in Kingsford, Michigan (1962-64); Academy of Our Lady in Peoria, Illinois (1964-67); St. Paul Grade School in Negaunee, Michigan (1967-68); and St. Jude Grade School in St. Louis (1968-70). She served her last two years in education as principal at St. Thomas More Grade School in Kansas City.
The next 33 years, Sister Maryellen served in administration at CSJ-related organizations. In 1972, she started at the Congregation Center of the Sisters of St. Joseph as the generalate secretary. Ten years later, she served as the administrative assistant. She then served the next 11 years at Carondelet Health System, first, as administrative assistant/office manager and, then, as the executive assistant.
Sister Maryellen went on to serve 14 years as the administrative assistant at the St. Joseph Provincial House in St. Louis and was an integral part of the vast renovations that occurred at the motherhouse during that time.
Sister Maryellen retired in 2014 and continues to volunteer.