Sisters of Charity Federation Archives

Hogan, S. Margaret, Oral History, 6/26/2017




Sisters of Charity, Leavenworth, Kansas
Transcription of Sister Margaret Hogan
Interviewed by Jane Kenamore, June 26, 2017
Transcribed by Jessie Lehman, August 2, 2017

Page 1 of 17

JK: This interview is with Sister Margaret Hogan. The interviewer is Jane Kenamore. We're at
the Sisters of Charity Mother House in Leavenworth, Kansas, and the date is June 26, 2017.
Sister Margaret, where were you born and raised? [00:00:20]
MH: I was born in Butte, Montana…
JK: Oh, you were born in Butte. Ok.
MH: …on December 10th, 1936, 12/10/36.
JK: What was it like to grow up in Butte? [00:00:36]
MH: One of the Sisters who grew up in Butte also, the other night we were saying what it
privilege it was for us to have that Butte background, because it is one of great simplicity, but the
people there are survivors and hardworking people, and we did learn the value of family, faith,
and we learned how to work.
JK: I'll get to the faith and work in a minute, but first can you tell us about your family, your
parents and your siblings? [00:01:16]
MH: My dad was a worker, was a laborer, worked in the mines for his entire life and provided
well for our family and worked hard. My mother was a stay-at-home mom. And I often think of
this in this day and age. I don't ever remember coming home from school, from grade school
through high school, without having my mother there in the house. And I remember her saying
when we were older, she said, "There were times when I wished my name was Mudd because
with the five of you coming in the door and the first thing you'd be hollering, 'Mom, where are
you?'" She just might be upstairs or folding laundry or doing something else. So, she was a
wonderful woman as my dad was. They both worked together well and raised five children, three
boys and two girls.
And our faith life was very important to us. We were part of the Immaculate Conception Parish,
and Mom and Dad lived there their entire married life, and they were both buried from there.
And for me that's still my sacred spot.
I know last December I celebrated my 80th birthday, and people kept on saying, "What do you
want to do to celebrate? This is a significant birthday." And I just wanted it to be a quiet day.
And, in the meantime, my nephew and his wife sent me a picture that had been photographed by
one of her brothers, and it was of the church in the parish where I grew up. And I remember all
day long, that was a very quiet day where I could sit and be grateful for my past and with a great
deal of prayer for the future. And that church is still, for me, it's…
JK: And it still is in existence? [00:03:38]

Sisters of Charity, Leavenworth, Kansas
Transcription of Sister Margaret Hogan
Interviewed by Jane Kenamore, June 26, 2017
Transcribed by Jessie Lehman, August 2, 2017

Page 2 of 17

MH: Oh, yes it is, and it's a magnificent structure. It was built many years ago. Probably I was at
first grade, I think, maybe one of the first communion classes from there. But it still is just a very
special place in my life and in the life of my family.
JK: A couple of other Sisters grew up in Butte also, and I don't know if they were in the same
parish as you, but they said the church was truly the center of their lives.
MH: Yes.
JK: They did everything. They socialized. They went to church. Everything was connected. Was
it that way in your life? [00:04:26]
MH: Oh, very much so. Very much so. I think that's one of the questions you asked about is
significant Sisters in my life. And I think the Sister who was a BVM… Our school was taught by
the Sisters of Charity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, the first eight grades. And they were very
special people in my life. And when I was in high school I always belonged to their, what they
called a sodality at that point.
JK: And what was that? [00:04:55]
MH: The Sisters were always a part of that. It was just coming together for socially and just a
supportive group of people.
And Sister Mary Maxine was my seventh grade teacher, and she is the one that I kept in touch
with for many years, and then I kind of fell out of keeping in touch with her. And then one year
when I was teaching in Topeka, Kansas I received a letter from her, and she must have found my
address. And so we kept in touch for many years. She died just a couple years ago. And I was
always sorry I didn't get back to her Mother House to see her because she was a real strong
person in my life, a very quiet person, but very affirming and very supportive as was Sister Mary
Seraphim who was the principal at our high school. And she was that quiet, elegant woman who
was always there for me in high school years as well as in community years. Throughout my
time in religious life she was always present and always there to talk to and sometimes
challenged me in many ways.
JK: Oh, really. How did she do that? [00:06:18]
MH: Just to be my best self.
JK: Ok.
MH: Yes.

Sisters of Charity, Leavenworth, Kansas
Transcription of Sister Margaret Hogan
Interviewed by Jane Kenamore, June 26, 2017
Transcribed by Jessie Lehman, August 2, 2017

Page 3 of 17

JK: And Sister Mary Maxine—what would you say she gave to you? [00:06:26]
MH: I would say presence, just being there and affirming me for who I was. Both of those
women, I think, did the same thing for me.
JK: Did you have contact with them when you were making your decision to become an SCL?
MH: You know my decision just flowed from the inner being. I was very fond of both
communities and I always thought about entering the BVMs but never did because I never did
finalize it.
After I graduated from high school I was still young because I was a December birthday. So I
decided to work and see where it all went. And nothing, you know, not that I had anything
against the BVMs but it seemed like… I went down to see Sister Mary Seraphim one night and
said I wanted to enter the community, and she said, "Well, all right, Margie, I'll send all your
information to Dubuque." And I said, "No. I think I want to send it to Leavenworth." So, I said,
"If you get everything ready then I'll be there in August." You know at that time we had to do
our aprons and our long underwear and our slips and all those things, and she was able to do all
the background and I showed up. And here I am 63 years later.
JK: That's wonderful. What were your expectations of living in a religious community?
MH: You know I did not have expectations. I think the Lord has blessed me with being open to
what is today. I just knew that I wanted to be of service in a different way. I had a wonderful
year working after high school, but I just always felt there was something more and as I prayed
not for a vocation or anything else… But, anyway, this—it just seemed to happen.
JK: And what was your first mission? [00:08:48]
MH: Blessed Sacrament in Kansas City, Missouri.
JK: And what did you do? [00:08:52]
MH: I was a teacher of third grade. And I followed that class, third grade, fourth grade, sixth
grade, seventh grade for a couple of years.
JK: Wow. And how many students did you have in the class? Was it a large class? [00:09:09]
MH: Oh, there were times where there wasn't room in the classroom for a teacher's desk.
JK: Oh, my gosh.

Sisters of Charity, Leavenworth, Kansas
Transcription of Sister Margaret Hogan
Interviewed by Jane Kenamore, June 26, 2017
Transcribed by Jessie Lehman, August 2, 2017

Page 4 of 17

MH: So, it was in those days when you had a full classroom, like 40 or 50 students.
JK: How did you manage those students? [00:09:27]
MH: I love teaching, and I found it a wonderful opportunity to help other people, to reach into
other people's lives. And, you know, in those days it was fortunate to live with other Sisters who
were crackerjack teachers. So, you always had assistance if you needed further assistance as to
how to handle a class or how to teach a class. And those were the good old days where you had
many people who were available.
JK: Do you remember any one in particular who gave you the most help or gave you a good bit
of help? [00:10:09]
MH: Probably not so much in those days. It was just generally all of the Sisters who lived in that
community, 'cause we had studied together and we had classes on Saturday that were always
helpful. So, it was just lots of good help.
JK: Oh, that's good. What did you like most about being an elementary school teacher?
MH: I was really blessed with good principals who taught me a great deal. Probably my last
years in teaching were very… I still remember… Sister Lynn Casey was my principal in Topeka.
And Lynn really taught me to believe in myself as a good teacher. She affirmed my gifts very
strongly and challenged me to be my best self as far as teaching was concerned. And I remember
one day sitting teaching, in fact, it was a religion class, and I remember sitting on a bench in
front of… doing something. I thought I no longer have to work to prove myself. I am a good
teacher. And that was a wonderful feeling for me because, I think, in the past I always thought I
had to compete with this person or some other person to work to be your best self, 'cause I
worked with some really good teachers.
JK: What were the greatest challenges? [00:12:08]
MH: Just to keep up with… (Laughs) Junior high students are not easy to keep up with, but I
love that age level. And I think if they're with you, they're with you, and if they're against you,
they're against you. And I always felt really… And I still love to work with junior high kids in
our Religious Ed. programs. I always welcome that opportunity.
JK: Did you teach all the subjects in junior high? [00:12:43]
MH: For some years and then towards the end of my time in teaching in school I predominantly
taught English and Literature or Religion, one of the others. Once I decided to move into looking
into counseling in the elementary grades, because the longer I was in school the more I realized

Sisters of Charity, Leavenworth, Kansas
Transcription of Sister Margaret Hogan
Interviewed by Jane Kenamore, June 26, 2017
Transcribed by Jessie Lehman, August 2, 2017

Page 5 of 17

there was a need for counseling in the elementary schools. And we didn't have any counselors at
that time.
JK: It wasn't a common thing…
MH: No.
JK: …back then. [00:13:21]
MH: No. So, then I did part-time in the junior high teaching subject matter and then part-time
working in counseling with the little people, and that was a great balance for me. It was kind of
fun to be able to work with big kids as well as little kids. And I love teaching, and I think
everything that I have done since then in my work, because I do a lot of work in parish ministry
and retreat work and spiritual direction, but I have to say that the groundwork is teaching. And
everything that I've done from that time on kind of has flowed from that experience.
JK: What were the issues that you ran into in counseling? Where were you teaching when you
went into counseling? [00:14:20]
MH: Most Pure Heart in Topeka.
JK: Oh, ok. And what were the issues that the children were dealing with? [00:14:28]
MH: I think at that point just helping people to believe in themselves in their own personal
dignity and self-concept always and then to work with parents on being consistent in how they
handle children and teachers as well. Sometimes what a child would do on Monday may not
begin to bother a teacher until Friday when they were tired. So, just to kind of work in that area
of understanding why we do what we do and how we do it.
JK: That's interesting. Did you ever have a teacher and a student together or a parent and a
student together? [00:15:21]
MH: Sometimes, yes.
JK: Was that effective? [00:15:25]
MH: Usually. I mean, yes. That's why you brought them together to help it be effective. Yes.
JK: How long were you in counseling then? [00:15:40]
MH: I have a degree in counseling in 1977, I think. So, I did the counseling in the school for
probably three years, and then I did some counseling when I moved back to Montana in the
junior high. But most of my work was in religion when I was at North Central in Butte.

Sisters of Charity, Leavenworth, Kansas
Transcription of Sister Margaret Hogan
Interviewed by Jane Kenamore, June 26, 2017
Transcribed by Jessie Lehman, August 2, 2017

Page 6 of 17

JK: Oh, ok. Let's back up. Not too long after you joined the SCLs Vatican II instituted many
changes in religious practices and in life in general. Which changes did you welcome?
MH: You know I was very fortunate to be in parishes where Vatican II was brought in carefully,
and we had the opportunity to study and to become a part of that process. So, for me it was not a
negative experience at all. It was a learning experience. It was always growth-filled. And I had
the opportunity to be a part of it, to be a part of the liturgical growth in our church. And I worked
with some wonderful priests and Sisters and also made myself available to all the ongoing
education that was happening at that time. So, it wasn't a negative experience for me.
JK: No, no. Which changes did you welcome? What were some of the specific changes that
meant the most? [00:17:42]
MH: Oh, the changes in the liturgy especially.
JK: In the liturgy.
MH: Yes.
JK: Like what, for instance? [00:17:46]
MH: The Mass in English. The opportunity for lay people to be involved in liturgical planning,
carrying out the ministries in the liturgy, the greater emphasis on the sacraments, especially the
Sacrament of the Sick. Of course, I do a lot of work with hospital visiting and hospice work, and
I feel like that sacrament is just so important in our life and sometimes we don't give it the
attention that it needs to be given.
JK: So, how was it less important prior to Vatican II? [00:18:27]
MH: I think we saw the Sacrament of the Sick only given when you're really close to death.
JK: Oh, I see.
MH: And the Sacrament of the Sick now is given… You know I find people in our parish now,
for instance, and in the past that if they're going into have surgery they invite their family and
their close friends to come and celebrate that sacrament with them, and it gives them the courage
and the health to move forward with a greater strength.
JK: But some of these changes were difficult for some people to accept. What changes were
more difficult to accept for some people, not for you? [00:19:19]

Sisters of Charity, Leavenworth, Kansas
Transcription of Sister Margaret Hogan
Interviewed by Jane Kenamore, June 26, 2017
Transcribed by Jessie Lehman, August 2, 2017

Page 7 of 17

MH: Well, I'm sure the changes in the liturgy were very difficult for some people. I know for
my mom it was the greatest thing where she could take a hat off. I could just see her throwing it
into the back of the car and she never had to put it on again.
JK: (Laughs) That's right. Because everybody wore hats. [00:19:46]
MH: Everybody wore hats, but my mother was very happy to take the hat off.
JK: So, what were some other changes like that? [00:19:55]
MH: I'd have to think a little bit harder. That was a humorous one that I can think of.
JK: Right. That's good. That's good. So, your mom was happy with at least the hat change.
(Laughs) [00:20:18]
MH: My mother was… she loved everything about the church and the changes were welcome to
her as well as to my dad.
JK: So, she was probably a flexible person to begin with. [00:20:31]
MH: Oh, yes. And people loved her and she loved them. And there was no judgment in her.
JK: Oh, that's good. In the 1980s you moved into parish ministry. Where were you assigned, and
what did you do? [00:20:53]
MH: I'm still in parish ministry, and I moved to… I was in Butte from 1980 to 1983. And then
1983 I moved to the parish where I work now.
JK: Oh, my goodness.
MH: I work in a parish and I do home visiting. I do hospital visiting. I do spiritual direction. I do
a little bit of everything. And the first year I came there the priest that I came with was a
classmate of mine from… and we both moved in the same year in 1983. And so I worked with
Father Ray Gilmore for 16 years, and then he left to take a new assignment, and then eventually
died very quickly. And then Father Jack Darragh came, and he was in Hamilton for 12 years, and
I worked with him for those 12 years. And, of course, if somebody's been there a long time you
end up…
They had not had a Sister before, so a lot of what was happening were things that I had
developed. And then Father Darragh was there for 12 years and retired. And we have a priest
there now, Father Jim Connor, who is there now. And I'm still there.
JK: And you're still there. [00:22:24]

Sisters of Charity, Leavenworth, Kansas
Transcription of Sister Margaret Hogan
Interviewed by Jane Kenamore, June 26, 2017
Transcribed by Jessie Lehman, August 2, 2017

Page 8 of 17

MH: Yes. And I'm also a spiritual director and I've had the opportunity of being trained in Jesuit
spirituality at Creighton University. So my master's is in Christian Spirituality with a retreat
So, several years after I was there, the parish, diocesan parish, but staffed by Jesuits, who were
starting the spiritual exercises in everyday life, and they asked me if I would be willing to mentor
some of their spiritual directors. So, I've been doing that for more than 20 years also. And I kind
of have a day once a month that I either go into Missoula for the mentoring and on the days that I
don't do that, on the Wednesdays that I don't do that, I work in our food pantry, which is also a
wonderful opportunity 'cause I work with people who do a marvelous job, and they're all
volunteer men and women. So, it's my outreach day.
JK: Oh, that's good.
MH: Yes.
JK: Are there any other SCLs working in the same area as you? [00:23:48]
MH: No.
JK: No. So you're by yourself.
MH: Sister Mary Jo Quinn lives in Missoula which is 44 miles from where I live, so we do get
together often. And then there are Sisters in Helena and Butte.
You know I've had some wonderful community experiences, and I know some of the questions
come after that, but I have to say it now in case you don't ask it. When I had the opportunity to
go to Hamilton I knew I would be living by myself which is not the most appealing thing in the
world. But I could not have done it if I did not have such good community experiences and
especially in Topeka and Butte and Kansas City. I really have a lot of affirmation and I have a lot
of support. And I make great effort to keep in touch with our Sisters who live in the area as well
as friends that are here in Kansas. So, I don't feel like I'm separated from community.
JK: That's good.
MH: Yes.
JK: And then you have other connections in town, not Sisters but surely people that you have
worked with for a long time. [00:25:09]

Sisters of Charity, Leavenworth, Kansas
Transcription of Sister Margaret Hogan
Interviewed by Jane Kenamore, June 26, 2017
Transcribed by Jessie Lehman, August 2, 2017

Page 9 of 17

MH: The lay people are just… I guess that's why I'm (inaudible) 33 years. They're marvelous
people. And I think that's another thing the Vatican Council did for us. The lay people are able to
do their part in the church. And we have a parish where they really do their part.
JK: That's great.
MH: Yes.
JK: What have you enjoyed most about parish ministry? [00:25:37]
MH: Oh, I think for me working with people and seeing their generosity not only in parish work
but on hospital boards which I'm on. I've been on two of our hospital boards of the community.
And seeing the generosity of those men and women who gather every month on a hospital board
is just a profound experience.
JK: What other specific experiences have you noted that have been really rewarding in parish
ministry? [00:26:26]
MH: Again, the Sacrament of the Sick has been extremely important to me, to be with people in
their hospice days. We're seeing how much they hunger and thirst for that, even people who have
been away from the church for a long time. The grace of that sacrament has touched me deeply.
JK: Oh, that's good. Now, you work with the priests. Do they also…? [00:27:04]
MH: They better.
JK: Or is it mainly your job to visit the sick? [00:27:12]
MH: I try to bring them into it. The first two were really… that was their gift, especially the
second one. He's retired now, but he does hospital ministry better than anybody I've ever worked
JK: Oh, really.
MH: And if you called him at four o'clock in the morning he'd be there at 4:05. The present
priest I think tries really hard and he does, but not as genuinely as I'd like to see it happen.
JK: We won't tell anyone, especially him. [00:27:54]

Sisters of Charity, Leavenworth, Kansas
Transcription of Sister Margaret Hogan
Interviewed by Jane Kenamore, June 26, 2017
Transcribed by Jessie Lehman, August 2, 2017

Page 10 of 17

MH: You don't have to put that on that board. No, he's very good, but because I'm usually the
first one at the hospital… But I make a real effort to be sure to include him in anything because
we can't do that. But I can certainly see that this is the time where this person really needs that
sacrament. So, no matter what time of the day it is, I do call and it's in God's hands once I've
tried to…
JK: If he's not able to come can you…? [00:28:40]
MH: No.
JK: You can't.
MH: No. The Sacrament of the Sick is reserved to the priest.
JK: Oh, not even in an emergency. [00:28:51]
MH: Not even in an emergency.
JK: Oh. Ok. So, that's one thing Vatican II forgot to do, right? [00:28:59]
MH: You know I often think the more I've done this kind of work it's like it would be nice to be
able to do that because there are times when… And Father's really good if I tell him somebody's
there the present priest is someone… I'd say, Jim, so-and-so is in the hospital and I think this is
really important that they have the Sacrament of the Sick. He will honor that, and I think just
because I… I usually find myself going to our hospital every day, and because when you're there
that long you know some of these people over the years. And I've been there since 1983, so.
JK: Despite living a distance from the community you're very much a part of the community.
How has it helped you over the years, especially in the years that you really have been living
mostly separately from the community? [00:30:11]
MH: I'm living in a dwelling that isn't part of a house, but I'd have to say I bet I have more
community spirit than some living in houses with several people. That's a judgment on my part, I
MH: I really do keep in touch with people and I welcome people to come. I live in a beautiful
place, and I have access to some very nice places where people can come and retreat or relax or
renew, whatever you want to call it. And the people are very generous in offering hospitality. So,
I think it's been a two-way street for us.

Sisters of Charity, Leavenworth, Kansas
Transcription of Sister Margaret Hogan
Interviewed by Jane Kenamore, June 26, 2017
Transcribed by Jessie Lehman, August 2, 2017

Page 11 of 17

JK: That's good. So, you have friends in your area that offer hospitality to the Sisters?
MH: Yes.
JK: Oh. That's nice.
MH: It has been very nice and some very nice places as well.
JK: Oh, really. That's even better. How is prayer reflected on the community and on yourself as
well? [00:31:20]
MH: You can't be a spiritual director if you're not willing to enter into the process yourself, so
prayer is extremely important to me. Eucharist is extremely important to me, and there's seldom
a day that I don't celebrate Eucharist in the parish. And I miss it when we don't have… you know
if Father's away or something of that nature. But prayer is my life.
JK: And what have you learned from living alone geographically? [00:32:19]
MH: I know. I think the importance of being in touch. People can choose to live alone as a
getaway. People can choose to live alone and yet not be lonely. And I think there are times where
you have to… I don't feel that loneliness because I think I'm connected with other people, and I
certainly avail myself to be with them.
Whenever I've done some work with our deacons in their formation program and one of our
Sisters worked… we both were a part of it, so that was a fun experience to go through those five
years of preparation. But each month I met not only with the deacons and their wives but also
with the Sister that was part of the process. And that was nice.
JK: That's good. Can you give some specific examples of working with them? [00:33:31]
MH: With the deacons?
JK: Yes.
MH: Oh, they were a tremendous group. We are so blessed in our diocese to have these last 20
men and women, and the women of course had to go through… not had. I mean they had to but
they profited so much from the opportunities. And it's sort of like after being an eighth grade
teacher for so long, I always feel so excited when I look up in the sanctuary at a big Chrism Mass
or something and one of the deacons who was ordained from that group is one of the deacons at
the Mass. I feel a certain sense of pride in them because I'm partially responsible.

Sisters of Charity, Leavenworth, Kansas
Transcription of Sister Margaret Hogan
Interviewed by Jane Kenamore, June 26, 2017
Transcribed by Jessie Lehman, August 2, 2017

Page 12 of 17

JK: That's right. Now, were the deacons some of whom can be, I mean, married right?
MH: Oh, yes. They're all married.
JK: Was that a change with Vatican II or did that exist before? [00:34:34]
MH: These are the (inaudible). I don't know how to explain it to you exactly. But before
ordination to priesthood they go through a deacon, but these are not permanent. These are
permanent deacons now, and they were already married before they…
JK: Right. But they're going to be deacons forever.
MH: Yes.
JK: They're not going on into the priesthood. [00:35:00]
MH: No. Oh, no.
JK: That's what I understood.
MH: No, no.
JK: So, did the church always accept married deacons then? [00:35:12]
MH: No.
JK: They were going to be deacons permanently, not going into the priesthood. [00:35:17]
MH: I don't know about the word "always" there, but we have had deacon formation in our
diocese for a long time.
JK: That has existed. I see. Ok, thank you.
MH: But this group was a special group.
JK: Oh good.
MH: They were wonderful.
JK: What have been the joys of being an SCL over your entire adult life? Would you have ever
done anything differently? [00:35:47]

Sisters of Charity, Leavenworth, Kansas
Transcription of Sister Margaret Hogan
Interviewed by Jane Kenamore, June 26, 2017
Transcribed by Jessie Lehman, August 2, 2017

Page 13 of 17

MH: You know I've been blessed with the choice but I think it was up to God. Some doors
closed and other doors opened, you know. My plans were never to go from being a teacher to a
counselor to a spiritual director to an assistant in a parish. But God's been there and that's why. I
never had any definite plans. I'm sure if I didn't follow that first call that my life would be
different but I don't know how because I didn't choose another path.
JK: What have you gained from being in the community even though geographically you're
somewhat distanced from it? [00:36:38]
MH: Oh, I've had a rich support and affirmation of who I am. I've been very well educated. I
know that when I moved back to Montana one of the things that came to me as I was praying
about this was I've had years of enrichment professionally, psychologically, but there was
something within me that was calling me back to my rootedness in my faith life and I went back.
My mom and dad were still alive and they weren't in illness so I didn't go back to take care of
them, but it was wonderful being around them for those three years and just being present in their
life. And I had a brother that lived in St. Louis, and so I used to see him more often when I was
in this part of the country, but he died a couple of years ago. So I have three brothers. I have one
brother now living and one sister living and her family and my brother's family. So, I still have
lots of folks in Butte.
JK: Oh, that's good. Have there been any challenges in living in the community? [00:38:08]
MH: I've lived in some really good community experiences. They weren't always easy. We
always had to think things… You know we lived in a… when you were going to be losing
teachers in school and we had to go through discernment as to how to do this. They weren't
always easy days but they were good days.
JK: Thank you. In the 1950s, '40s and '50s, religious orders were huge. And today there are not
as many women entering the orders. What do you think caused this change? [00:38:57]
MH: Life. I don't know. I guess I don't worry about it so much. Of course I was part of a big
group of people and there are still 11 or 12 of us in the community alive. Not all well but alive.
And it's hard to say. You know when I read your question it's hard to diagnose that and to see
where we are and what we're going to do about that. I think there's a need for a lot of creativity,
and I think that's what our meetings this next week are about, to kind of look and see where we
are and where we're going. But it's hard to know at this point.
JK: Do you have any creative thoughts about it? [00:40:02]
MH: I keep working at it. I'm in a study group with some really wonderful women, and we all
are constantly trying to think creatively and future-oriented. But, again, I have to be grateful for
the today. And I didn't know in 1955 that when I entered the community that we would be down

Sisters of Charity, Leavenworth, Kansas
Transcription of Sister Margaret Hogan
Interviewed by Jane Kenamore, June 26, 2017
Transcribed by Jessie Lehman, August 2, 2017

Page 14 of 17

to the fewer numbers that we are today. But I guess there's always hope and there's always life,
and we have some really good leadership and I trust their leadership. Those that have gone
before us worked really hard and those that are with us today are still working really hard.
JK: Yes, they are. (Laughs)
MH: Yes.
JK: No one retires as I can tell. What is the future of SCL as you see it? [00:41:23]
MH: That's what I mean. I think you just have that hope that we know but we don't know. It's
not clear.
JK: Right.
MH: And I think it's always there's a little bit of grieving of what we have to let go of and yet a
little bit of hope for what is to come. But I'm sure Mother Xavier felt that same thing.
JK: She probably did.
MH: Yes.
JK: She probably did. Do you have anything you'd like to add that we haven't talked about?
MH: I don't know. I just think that I have been well-nourished through family and friends,
community, faith, the community that I serve now in the church, the opportunities that are mine
to ministry. And I have so many opportunities. And I just pray for the grace to be able to respond
to these opportunities.
JK: Thank you so much. Frank, did you have any…? [00:42:37]
FD: Actually I do have a question.
JK: Ok.
FD: You were talking about the Sacrament of the Sick, and was that… Sometimes we have sick
members in our family, and I guess I'd be reluctant to use it because I'd think that they would
think that, oh… I mean if it was before an operation they might think, oh… [00:43:00]
MH: I'm going to die.
FD: Right. Why are they doing this? They look at it as last rites. I'd be afraid to…

Sisters of Charity, Leavenworth, Kansas
Transcription of Sister Margaret Hogan
Interviewed by Jane Kenamore, June 26, 2017
Transcribed by Jessie Lehman, August 2, 2017

Page 15 of 17

MH: See, we used to call it that. We've learned that lesson, I mean, in our formation so well, so
that we're reluctant. I remember a young woman and it wasn't too long ago. It was just last year
in fact. She had a slight stroke and she was in the hospital. And she was afraid of the stroke and
her husband was afraid. And I remember Father came in, and the family really wanted her to
have the Sacrament of the Sick, especially her husband because he understood it. But I remember
the fear on her face, 'cause her only experience of that sacrament was when her mother was
dying. And she just had this… and I said, "No, Nance. No. It's ok. This is to help give you
strength and healing, not that you're going to die. You're ok." But that is a fear, but we taught
FD: That's the Sacrament of Extreme Unction, right? [00:44:22]
MH: Actually that's changed a lot. Now it's called the Sacrament of the Sick.
FD: Ok. It used to be called…
MH: And so we used to call... the last rites. And if you noticed when you said can't you do that,
the priest, because a lot of times that was so administered and that's when they also made a
confession. See.
JK: Oh, I see.
MH: So, you gave the last rites. And people confessed their sins and then they had the Blessing
of the Oils. When I see people who are going to surgery and they say, "Father, is it ok if we have
the Sacrament of the Sick after Wednesday morning Mass because my prayer group will be here,
and they have their family and their prayer group and it's such a healing experience.
FD: Are you saying that you should have it before surgery or after? [00:45:20]
MH: Yes, before.
FD: Ok.
MH: Yes. To give you the strength and the healing already.
FD: Yes, I see.
MH: I know for me it was really important. I had a slight stroke two years ago, and, thank God,
I'm doing well, but it was scary. But it was so important to have that Sacrament of the Sick for
me. And when Father came as soon as he heard I was in the hospital and he said, "Do you want
the Sacrament of the Sick?" And I said, "Please." I can use any strength I can get right now.

Sisters of Charity, Leavenworth, Kansas
Transcription of Sister Margaret Hogan
Interviewed by Jane Kenamore, June 26, 2017
Transcribed by Jessie Lehman, August 2, 2017

Page 16 of 17

FD: Can you give that more than once? [00:46:07]
MH: Yes, over and over again. Somebody will say to me, "I had that sacrament last month."
And I say, "It's ok. Have it again."
MH: The more strength we can get the better off we are. No, but we did… It was that last rites,
and you were reluctant to call until you knew they just had ten more breaths left.
FD: That's what happened to my father. [00:46:37]
MH: No, I encourage people. This is a good time for you to have this sacrament before you're
going in for your chemotherapy treatment.
JK: Thank you.
MH: If you have any other questions… I'm sorry if I rambled a lot.
JK: No, you didn't ramble at all.
MH: I did try to…
JK: No.
MH: I did try to read those questions but I thought I'm not a high school teacher. I have one
experience with that.
JK: I must have read that one experience in your mission card (phonetic). [00:47:14]
MH: I had to laugh though. I taught junior high and I really loved that age level. And I was
going to teach at North Central. I don't know if you've met Sister Anita Sullivan. She was
another wonderful principal who I would like to mention. She was so good. But, anyway, they
called me. I was directing a 30-day retreat in Oshkosh, Wisconsin. And Nits (phonetic) said,
"Margie, I just have one question to ask you." She said they really do need a religion teacher, a
theology teacher, for one sophomore class at the high school which is only a few blocks from
where our junior high was. And she said, "Would you be willing to teach that class if we can
arrange your schedule so that you can get there and back?" And I thought about it. And I
thought, if not, why not? Why not me? So, I said yes to that.

Sisters of Charity, Leavenworth, Kansas
Transcription of Sister Margaret Hogan
Interviewed by Jane Kenamore, June 26, 2017
Transcribed by Jessie Lehman, August 2, 2017

Page 17 of 17

They were sophomores, and the other teacher, one of our Sisters, was not a very good
disciplinarian. A wonderful person and they loved her. I mean they loved her. She used to play
with the guitar in her hand and everything. I don't play guitar. And I expected sophomores to
listen to me. And so I taught that whole year. But I'm telling you, I used to be in agony going up
and down, 'cause I'd leave these wonderful junior high kids who loved theology and they loved
religion and I'd go down to these kids.
But you know you'd see them on the street and they'd say, "Hi, Sister Margaret." And on St.
Patrick's Day they'd be out there at the parade hollering "Hi, Sister." But I said at the end of that
year you're going to have to pay me big bucks if you want me to ever do that again or else I'll
have to be full-time on that staff so that I can bring discipline to it.
JK: So, what year was that? [00:49:26]
MH: It would have been 1981.
JK: Ok. So, it was after the '60s.
MH: Yes.
JK: There were a lot of changes that came about with kids. (Laughs) [00:49:39]
MH: I'm telling you. But these kids, they will remind you that you taught me as a sophomore.
And I thought, oh, dear God, don't remember. I remember asking the principal of the high
school, I said, "Why don't you come and sit in my class? I want you to be there. I want you to see
what I have to put up with." But it was a learning experience. I would not choose to teach
sophomores ever again.
JK: (Laughs) Ok. Thank you.
MH: Thank you very much. I hope I didn't take your whole time.

Dublin Core


Hogan, S. Margaret, Oral History, 6/26/2017


Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth; Teaching; Parish Ministry; Vatican II


She tells stories about growing up in Butte, Montana. She discusses her career in teaching in depth as well as her later parish work. She also speaks about her impressions of the changes from Vatican II.


Hogan, S. Margaret; Kenamore, Jane


Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth






All rights belong to the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth






Oral History


Hogan, S. Margaret; Kenamore, Jane



Oral History Item Type Metadata


Kenamore, Jane


Hogan, S. Margaret


Digital Sisters Files

Original Format





Hogan, S. Margaret; Kenamore, Jane, “Hogan, S. Margaret, Oral History, 6/26/2017,” Sisters of Charity Federation Archives, accessed June 25, 2024,


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