Message from the President
April 5, 2011
am saddened to tell you that Mary Milligan, R.S.H.M., passed away Saturday,
April 2, at the age of 76. Sister Mary was an important figure in LMU’s history
who helped the University grow academically and spiritually.
her nearly 40-year career, Sister Mary was provost of the University from 1986
to 1989 and dean of Bellarmine College of Liberal Arts from 1992 to 1997. She
also served as a trustee of the University from 1987 to 2006. Early in her
higher education career, she taught French and theology at Marymount College in
Los Angeles and Marymount Palos Verdes, and Hebrew scripture and New Testament
at LMU. She was also a professor of theology at St. John’s Seminary in
Mary was an outstanding leader within the Religious of the Sacred Heart of
Mary, which she joined 56 years ago. Steeped in the history of the order, she
served on the Sources Commission and coordinated the International Commission
for the Revision of the Constitutions. Sister Mary served as R.S.H.M. general
superior in Rome, as a member of the General Council, provincial superior of
the Western American Province, and as a member of the Provincial Council. She
served on numerous theological and religious life commissions locally,
nationally and internationally. Sister Mary was also a prolific writer on
faith, religious life and spirituality. She was deeply committed to the
Ignatian tradition, and was a much sought after spiritual and retreat director.
native Californian, Sister Mary earned her B.A. in French at Marymount College
in Tarrytown, N.Y., her M.A. in sacred scripture at St. Mary’s College in
Indiana, her Ph.D. in English at the L’Université de Paris and a Doctorate in
Sacred Theology at the Pontifical Gregorian University in Rome.
Mary is survived by her sisters Patricia Marlowe and Geraldine Gesto, her
brother, Mike, and four nieces and three nephews. She will be deeply missed by
her R.S.H.M. sisters and the thousands of people whose lives she touched.
Service will be Friday, April 8, at 7 p.m. and a Mass of Christian Burial will
be Saturday, April 9, at 11 a.m., both in Sacred Heart Chapel. Burial will be
at Holy Cross Cemetery, Culver City. To honor Sister Mary’s life, the R.S.H.M. ask
that in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: Mary Milligan,
R.S.H.M. Endowed Lecture Series, c/o Alma Vorst, 1 LMU Drive, University
Hall Suite 2800, Los Angeles, CA 90045.
at LMU are profoundly grateful that Sister Mary gave so generously of her
intellect, energy and spirit. Please keep her and her R.S.H.M. sisters in your
thoughts and prayers.
David W. Burcham