1933 – 2023
Sister Marie Ann, Teresa Rose Stamm, of Hillman, Michigan, completed her life’s journey of 90 years on October 11, 2023 at 8:09 p.m. in Trinity Health Hospital, Livonia, Michigan. Sister Marie Ann
was 73 years in community.
Hillman Village, a farm community in mid-Michigan, 25 miles west of
Alpena, was the birthplace of Teresa Rose Stamm, 10th child of Louis and Margaret (Streasick). Baptized at St. Augustine Church in Hillman, Teresa attended Hillman Rural Agricultural School. Contact with the Felician Sisters sparked the vocation God had planted and Teresa enrolled in Felician Academy in Detroit. On June 19, 1950 she was accepted into the Felician Congregation, and the following year during the Investiture ceremony she received the name Sister Mary Martin Ann – later changed to Sister Marie Ann.
In preparation for the ministry of teaching, Sister Marie Ann earned a baccalaureate degree in 1960 from Madonna (College) University; a master’s degree in 1964 from the University of Detroit; and a Doctor of Ministry degree in 1988 and an Honorary Doctor of Divinity degree in 2004 ,both from the Graduate Theological Foundation, Notre Dame, IN.
Teaching experience for Sister Marie Ann included every grade from kindergarten through the university level. For the first 23 years of her ministry, Sister was a teacher in the Archdiocese of Detroit at the following schools: St. Ignatius, Patronage of St. Joseph, Holy Ghost, St. Valentine and St. Andrew – all in Detroit; St. Michael, Livonia; Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Wyandotte; Our Lady of Refuge, Orchard Lake; St. Hilary, Redford; and Ladywood High School, Livonia. Her last assignment as a secondary school teacher was at St. Stanislaus High School, Bay City,
Assigned to Madonna University, Livonia, Michigan in 1976, during the next 37 years Sister was professor then Chairperson of the Religious Studies/Philosophy Department (1990-2013), oversaw Cultural Affairs and Campus Ministry, and was instrumental in developing the Pastoral Ministry program.
Students filled her art classes, and during the Christmas season St. Mary Hospital was one of the recipients of decorated windows as students with brush and sponge filled in the outline of a Christmas scene sketched by Sister Marie Ann.
Another path opened for Sister Marie Ann when she graduated from the Detroit Police Chaplains’ Academy in 1990 and was part of the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department Chaplain Corps, an emergency response team organized after 1987’s Northwest Flight 255 disaster. During this time Sister worked in homicide, suicide, domestic violence and counseled abused children.
Artistic, poetic and a lover of nature, Sister Marie Ann was a talented individual. She also wrote a book, compiled a collection of 200+ poems, assembled the Livonia Blue Book – Beyond the Badge for the Livonia Police Department and composed a hymn for police funerals: Come Home.
Travel was an important segment of her education and through the Educational Study Abroad organization Sister visited 44 countries including Japan, Nigeria, and Korea; she taught in Taiwan, Germany and Mexico; and directed a poetry workshop in Ireland.
Assigned as a permanent resident of Presentation of the Blessed Virgin Mary Convent – St. Joseph Hall in 2013, Sister Marie Ann provided spiritual direction and engaged in the ministry of prayer. A favorite pastime was to sit at the table in the dining room facing the large windows over-looking the Fatima Grotto in the distance. With soft music in the background from a recording of Bing Crosby’s White Christmas, her artistic ability would flourish, and blank paper came alive with a myriad of drawings or poetry. Walls and windows joyously displayed her artwork, and the dining room and porch area were enlivened with many vivid paintings and projects depicting nature and life.
In “A Story About Sister Ann Stamm” written for a class project by one of her students, it was noted that “flowers, according to her mom, were little angels sent to brighten our world..
Trillium were touches of heaven waiting to be found…Nature brings to her thoughts of eternity – a home without tears, a castle where hearts sing – a music yet unheard – played by angels and children of God from every race and color…in heaven, I’ll probably plant seeds of love for the many dear souls who blessed my life.”