Tuesday May 31, 2011

Sr. Mary Louise Foley Retires

After 20 years of serving the University of Dayton Law, and many more working with the Marianist sisters and the University, Sr. Mary Louise Foley, F.M.I., has retired as campus minister.

After 20 years of serving the University of Dayton School of Law, and more working with the Marianist sisters and the University, Sr. Mary Louise Foley, F.M.I., has retired as campus minister.

Fr. Dave McGuigan, S.M., will join the School of Law as its new campus minister later this summer. He also serves as campus minister for graduate students and will take on additional responsibilities as University chaplain.

Sr. Mary Louise joined the School of Law as campus minister 1991, serving as counselor and friend to the students, faculty and staff. Her responsibilities including helping to organize the School's annual Interfaith Prayer Service and Red Mass, and serving as an advisor for the St. Thomas More Society, a student organization.

She also served as campus minister to faculty throughout campus. In addition, Sr. Mary Louise served with the Hand in Hand program, which helps students who are pregnant.

Sr. Mary Louise could often be found in her office on the first floor of Keller Hall talking to the many students who sought her counsel. She regularly attended important events at the School, often being called upon to begin a program with a prayer. She said she especially enjoyed helping couples as they prepared to marry.

Dean Lisa Kloppenberg said that Sr. Mary Louise serves as a "living example" of the Marianists principles. She is s a "woman of faith, quiet and gentle but very persistent," Kloppenberg said. "Her mission was to address the needs of the whole person in our students, faculty and staff: to shape their hearts and minds. She is strongly passionate about issues of equality, inclusiveness and justice in this world."

As campus minister at Dayton Law, Sr. Mary Louise continuously reminded students that they can make a great difference in people's lives. "They help people have a voice, help people who really need legal assistance," she said.

"It was good being around students who really took seriously their studies and their plans for their lives and what they felt called to do," she said.

She described her work at UDSL as being "available to students and helping to continue the Catholic Marianist spirit that is already here." She also assisted Kloppenberg, faculty and staff "as we seek to deepen the Catholic Marianist tradition."

Sometimes, her job was to simply be there for someone. She spent time with those in need, realizing that the "community really came together in prayer during those times."

Sr. Mary Louise graduated from UD then went to San Antonio, Texas, to join the Marianist sisters. After novitiate she taught sixth graders for several years, then returned to Dayton and worked at Marycrest Hall.

She later returned to San Antonio, where she worked at the Marianist sisters renewal center and did pastoral ministry at a Marianist parish and administrative work for the Sisters.

In 2010, the School of Law and its Alumni Association honored Sr. Mary Louise with the Walter H. Rice Honorary Alumni Award in recognition of her significant contributions to the legal profession, the community and the School of Law.

Judge Rice, who serves on the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio, presented the award to Sr. Mary Louise, calling her the "heart and soul of our law school community."

In retirement, Sr. Mary Louise said, she would remain in Dayton and hoped to continue to be involved around campus. She said she also plans to continue volunteering and helping where needed.

"We need to help our neighbor," she said. "There are lots of people who have difficult challenges in their lives."

For more information, contact Bob Mihalek at 937-229-4683.