Margaret Crann, CSJ

We Remember Her 
In the rustling of the leaves and in the beauty of autumn. 

Sister Margaret Crann, CSJ
(S. James Patrick)

October 5, 1941 – November 21, 2021

We gather today to celebrate and remember our dear sister Margaret Crann. Margaret requested three things for her funeral:  that it be joyful; that it reflect gratitude and that it be short.  And so, in this celebration, we will honor her wishes.

Margaret lived her life filled with joy and thankfulness! How appropriate that we celebrate her funeral the day after Thanksgiving – the day our country pauses to count her blessings and give thanks with one voice.

Margaret and Anna shared such a strong bond of sisterly love. They were always a visible sign of God’s presence and active love to others. Margaret was the oldest twin (by six minutes) and she never let Anna forget that she was the older of the two.

The twins were born in Charlestown to James and Elizabeth Crann. Their parents came from County Sligo, Ireland. How proud Margaret and Anna were of their Irish roots. Their brother, Patrick, and sisters, Elizabeth and Mary welcomed their twin sisters into their happy household. The given names of the Cranns reads like the litany of the saints: James, Mary, Elizabeth, Margaret, Anna, Patrick, Catherine, Theresa, Bridget.

Margaret and Anna, although identical twins, made the decision to enter the Sisters of St. Joseph separately, but they entered the novitiate in Framingham together in 1960, motivated by their strong desire to do the works of God. And do the works of God they surely did, their whole lives.

Margaret began her ministerial life as a Sister of St. Joseph teaching in early education as a kindergarten and Montessori teacher in Haverhill. How blessed children would have been to have had her as their teacher. It was there that she felt a strong call to minister to our elderly and sick sisters at Bethany, first as a CNA, and after a few years, as Pastoral Care Coordinator.

With Anna at her side, she returned to the hill at Framingham where they became the “dynamic duo” and such a gift to the community at Bethany. The twins’ gifts of compassion, respect, kindness and love for each person they encountered became the hallmark of their ministry. Their sense of humor and Irish wit became wonderful assets to all whom they met.

They loved their apartment at the Motherhouse. Theirs was the “town and country” apartment.  The twins enjoyed preparing and serving tea from their mother’s Irish cups. A big feature of the apartment was that they could view the Bunker Hill Monument. Mostly, they loved hosting their prayer group that gathered monthly for ten years.

Margaret loved all things spiritual and she was a true seeker of God. Their daily ride to Framingham became a prayerful event for them because they witnessed the sun rising. And now the sun has set on Margaret’s life.  I can hear her uttering her favorite words:  If the only prayer you ever say is “thank you” that is enough.

Margaret, rest in the loving arms of the God you served so well.

Given by: Denise Kelly, CSJ
November 26, 2021