Sister Mary Carmen MacLean, CSJ (formerly Anne Winnifred MacLean) died peacefully at the Sisters of St. Joseph Residence, 2 O’Connor Drive, Toronto, Ontario, on Monday, September 20, 2021, in the 61st year of her religious life.
She is predeceased by her parents, Stephan MacLean and Mary Anne (nee MacLean) MacLean and her siblings: Cyril, Joseph, Elmer, Harris and Bernie MacLean. She will be sadly missed by her sisters Marion Maltby and Marina Trutwin, many nieces and nephews, friends, Chaplains, and Sisters in community.
Sister Mary Carmen MacLean was one of eight children born to Stephan and Mary Anne MacLean, on a farm in Barra Head, Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia. She was very proud of her Scottish Canadian heritage and its music.
As a young person living in Toronto, Sister Mary Carmen entered the St. Joseph’s Hospital School of Nursing and obtained her R.N. In 1961, she felt a call to religious life and responded by entering the Sisters of Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto.
Following her novitiate formation, she was missioned to the hospitals of the congregation and lived the charism of caring for “the dear neighbour.” As a nurse, Sister Mary Carmen was a quiet-spoken person with a calm manner and beautiful smile, which she brought to her patients and their families. She had a particular love for psychiatric nursing in which she was engaged in for many years. Sister Mary Carmen pursued further studies and moved from her profession of nursing to chaplaincy.
She obtained five units in Clinical Pastoral Education, and certified as a specialist in institutional ministry with the Canadian Association for Pastoral practice and Education.
Sister Mary Carmen also studied at St. Paul’s University and Regis College, Toronto School of Theology, to obtain a Masters of Arts in Ministry and Spirituality. Sister Mary Carmen spent 13 years in St Joseph’s Hospital, Comox, British Columbia, both as a nurse in Psychiatry and later as head of Pastoral Care Services. She enjoyed her time in Comox immensely as it reminded her of her beloved Cape Breton Island.
In her role as nurse, chaplain, family advisor, home visitor, volunteer, Sister Mary Carmen was very reassuring to each person, always desiring to be a source of unity and hope.
In her ministry she lived fully the call of the Gospel, the hospital motto, “Whatsoever you do to these, the least among you, you do to me.” (Matthew 25)