ROSEMONT, Pennsylvania — Maureen Widmeier, SHCJ, a Sister of the Holy Child Jesus for 72 years, died on her 97th birthday of complications of the flu at Holy Child Center. There was a funeral Mass at Holy Child Chapel.
Born and raised in the Fairhill section of Philadelphia, Sister Maureen was the ninth of 13 children. She first came to know and love the Sisters of the Holy Child Jesus while a student at St. Edward School. Three years after graduating from John W. Hallahan Catholic Girls High School, she entered the Society, as her older sister, Elizabeth (Mother Mary Flavia), had done ten years earlier. She became well known by her religious name Mother Maureen.
As a teacher, Sister Maureen excelled with younger children. Her teaching ministry of almost 30 years took her to several schools including St. Mary School in Melrose, Massachusetts (1947-1950 and 1952-1955); Holy Family School in Portland (1955-1962); Saint Rose School in Portland (1962-1967); Mayfield Junior School of the Holy Child in Pasadena, California (1967-1968); Saint Elizabeth School in New York City (1968-1972); and Saints Peter & Paul School in Fleetwood, New York (1972-1975).
In addition to teaching, Sister Maureen continued her education and earned a master’s degree in theology and a license in massage therapy. She spent a sabbatical year at Trinity College in Washington, DC, which brought a new focus to her ministry. She became involved in parish social services at Ascension Parish in Philadelphia and served as a dedicated volunteer at the Archdiocese of Philadelphia’s Nutritional Development Services for almost two decades. Later in life, Sister Maureen combined contemplation and action in North Philadelphia, where she ministered at St. Francis Inn. She officially retired from active ministry at age 94.
Sister Maureen’s love of prayer had been a constant throughout her life. She was always one to offer a quick joke or riddle to friends and strangers and enjoyed introducing herself as “MoWid,” for Sister Maureen Widmeier. Sister Maureen’s spirit and zeal will be missed.
Sister Maureen received a bachelor’s degree in education from Villanova University and a master’s in theology from Saint Mary College in San Francisco in 1953 and 1971, respectively.
Sister Maureen joins her parents, Charles and Catherine (Dwyer) Widmeier, and siblings, Charles, John, Thomas, Jack, Dolores McDonnell, Claire Ryan, Regina Wilkerson, Catherine Watts, Elizabeth (Mother Mary Flavia, SHCJ), Mary O’Hare, Helen Bulman, and Mary Jean Wilkinson. She is survived by cousins, Rev. Gerald Brinkmann CSsR, and Rev. Charles Brinkmann CSsR, and several nieces and nephews
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be sent to the Society of the Holy Child Jesus – American Province, 1341 Montgomery Avenue, Rosemont, PA 19010, or donate online at