Mary Angela Shaughnessy, S.C.N., Discusses Life as a Catholic Educator and Woman Religious


Sr. Mary Angela Shaughnessy with Dean Shane P. Martin

Mary Angela Shaughnessy, a Sister of Charity of Nazareth and a nationally recognized expert on the law as it affects Catholic schools and Church ministry, visited LMU in July for a conversation on women leaders in Catholic education. The conversation was moderated by Shane P. Martin, dean and professor of the School of Education, as a part of the LMU Center for Catholic Education’s colloquia on topics relevant to educators in Catholic K-12 schools and higher education.

Last year, Sister Mary Angela was named the first distinguished fellow of the LMU Center for Catholic Education.

During the session, Sister Mary Angela gave a reflection on her life as a Catholic educator and as a woman religious working in higher education. She spoke about her hopes for the Church in the present and as it moves toward the future. “I sense a new springtime in the Church.  I sense a time of hope, and a time that there may be newness, and even a new approach to looking at things. Pope Francis talks a lot about compassion, and I think that’s really important.”

As a center distinguished fellow, she regularly visits the university to collaborate with faculty and students in the SOE’s Catholic education programs and deliver keynote lectures on current issues in Catholic school law.

On being affiliated with the LMU Center for Catholic Education, Sister Mary Angela said, “In my experience there is no one more crucial for the future of Catholic schools than LMU because of what the university does for Catholic education in the United States.”

Sister Mary Angela has taught at all levels of Catholic education, from elementary through graduate school, and is currently general legal counsel at St. Catharine College in Kentucky where she is also dean of their Graduate School. She serves as a consultant to numerous dioceses and is a highly sought after national speaker and the author of more than thirty texts. She has held many administrative posts in higher education and early in her career served eight years as principal of a Catholic high school in the Archdiocese of Boston.