Sister Mary Jon Wagner died at Rosary Care Center in Sylvania, Ohio on April 5, 2022 after a brave battle with health issues over the past several months. The daughter of Allen and Elizabeth Wagner came to the convent in 1967 from St. Catherine Parish in Toledo, Ohio. She made her first profession as a religious in 1970 and her final profession in 1974.
Sister Mary Jon was the previous Congregational Minister for the Sisters of St. Francis in Sylvania, Ohio from 2012 to 2021. She also served a four-year term as Assistant Congregational Minister from 2008 to 2012.
Before entering the convent, Sister Mary Jon was very involved in her dad’s plumbing business as well as other work with a business focus. As a young adult woman, she sensed a call to reach out, to assist and to support the less fortunate and to help create possibilities to improve life for others. The volunteer projects that her parents were involved in, including schools, in various organizations, in their own parish and in relation to their business customers inspired her own volunteerism. She eventually became a teacher and the relationships she made with the Sylvania Franciscans with whom she taught inspired her to pursue religious life.
In the 50 plus years she served the People of God as a religious woman, Sister Mary Jon spent 39 of those years in education. She held positions as a junior high teacher in Ohio and Michigan, an elementary school Principal in Minnesota and Ohio, and as Superintendent of the Sandusky Area Catholic Schools. She also served for 14 years on the Board of Lourdes University in Sylvania. While working in education in Sandusky, Sister Mary Jon was a member of the Board of Providence Hospital and later served on the Board of Providence Care Center and the Commons of Providence Board. These were healthcare ministries sponsored by the Sisters.
In a 2020 interview for her 50th Jubilee, Sister Mary Jon was asked to share what she perceived as her legacy as a Sylvania Franciscan. She replied, “(I have) moved the gifts I have been given to call and challenge others to move their gifts to the next level—to become involved in building Franciscan relationships-to work toward the expansion/widening of the vision to be inclusive of the whole for the life of the Congregation.” Those who worked with her can attest to her ability to fulfill this legacy. One of her favorite passages from Scripture, I will make all things new. (Isaiah 43:19) may be the foundation of this legacy and the driving force behind her lifelong love and gratitude for her family, friends and her Community of Sisters as she accepted the invitation to be a Servant Leader among us.
Sister Mary Jon will be dearly missed by Sister Judy Ann Beaudry her long-time friend and compassionate care giver, her Sisters in Community, her family and friends and the caregivers at Rosary Care Center and Flower Hospital.
She is survived by her brother, Richard (Jolene) Wagner, nieces, Carey (Don) Manders, Amy (Dennis) Kazmierczak, Kelly (Mason) Hall, nephew Chad Pietkowski, niece Tara (Brad) Miller and great, and great, great nieces and nephews.
Visitation for Sister Mary Jon will begin at 1 p.m. on Monday, April 11, 2022, at Our Lady Queen of Peace Chapel where the Funeral Mass will follow at 4 p.m. Live Streaming of the Funeral Mass is: https://video.ibm.com/channel/RvdadQRjbGk
Memorial contributions may be made to the Sisters of St. Francis, Sylvania, Ohio. Arrangements by the Thomas I. Wisniewski, Funeral Home, Toledo, Ohio.