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Loyola mourns former dean Sister Mary Magdala Thompson

July 25, 2012 | By Nick Alexopulos

The Loyola University Maryland community is mourning the loss of Sr. Mary Magdala Thompson, Ph.D., former dean of the University’s original graduate school, who died at Providence Hospital in Alabama on July 14. She was 89 years old and had been a Sister of Mercy for 65 years.

Sr. Magdala earned an M.A. in Counseling from what was then Loyola College in 1959 during her tenure in administration at Mount Saint Agnes College. She received her Ph.D. from Michigan State University in 1971. In 1974, Sr. Magdala returned to Baltimore and served as the dean of Loyola’s graduate school until 1978. One of her most significant achievements during this time was the founding of the University’s Pastoral Counseling and Spiritual Care program, which soon became and continues to be one of Loyola’s best known and acclaimed fields of study.

Born in Baltimore on Nov. 30, 1922, Sr. Magdala, baptized Ann Pattison Thompson, was the daughter of Stephen Ignatius and Sue Helen (Johnson) Thompson. She attended All Saints Elementary School and Mount Saint Agnes High School and Junior College, where she earned an A.A. degree in 1942.  After completing her undergraduate education at Sr. Mary of the Woods College in Indiana in 1945, she entered the Sisters of Mercy novitiate at Mount Saint Agnes in September 1947 and made her perpetual vows as a Sister of Mercy in 1953.

Sr. Magdala has willed her body to science. The Sisters of Mercy and the Mount Saint Agnes College alumnae welcome all her former colleagues, students, and friends to join them in celebrating her life. Memorial services will be offered at Stella Maris in Timonium, Md., on Saturday, Aug. 25 at 2 p.m.  In lieu of flowers, please send contributions to:

The Sisters of Mercy
101 Mercy Drive
Belmont, N.C. 28012-2898

Sister Magdala’s full obituary is available in the Catholic Review.

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