Sister Michael's Story

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Sister Michael Ann Aubin, 92, of the Sisters of St. Francis, Oldenburg, died Saturday, June 11, 2016, at the convent.
Born Nov. 3, 1923, in Woonsocket, Rhode Island, Eleanor was the third of five children born to Marguerite (Miller) and Arthur Aubin.

Sister Michael Ann entered the convent Sept. 4, 1941, and made her final vows Aug. 12, 1947. She taught from 1943-93. Schools included Little Flower, Indianapolis; St. Vincent's Orphanage, Vincennes; St. Andrew's, Richmond; St. Mary's, Greensburg; St. John the Baptist, Dover; St. Joseph's, St. Leon; St. Mary's, Lanesville; St. Lawrence, Lawrenceburg; St. Joseph of Nazareth and St Leo's, Cincinnati; St. Mary's, Middletown, Ohio; and Sacred Heart, Troy, Missouri, before retiring to the motherhouse in 1993.

The family moved to Richmond when Eleanor was 5, and lived in a home with her grandparents residing on the second floor and Eleanor and her family on the first floor. Eleanor's father was a machinist and her mother was a teacher, and it seemed teaching was in Eleanor's blood.

The eager student attended St. Andrew School, where she first met the Franciscan Sisters. When she was in the fourth grade, her eldest brother, Henry, had just finished the seventh grade when he left home to enter the Brothers of the Sacred Heart, Granby, Canada. Later, in 1947, Eleanor took her final vows as a Sister of St. Francis and became "Sister Michael Aubin," and in 1961, her younger brother, the Rev. Joseph Aubin, was ordained a priest in the Lansing, Michigan, diocese. Three of the five Aubin children entered religious life, while her sisters Lillian and Mary Ann later married and the two families gave Sister Michael Ann a total of 13 nieces and nephews.

She would often reflect upon her years as a young child when the family made trips to Oldenburg to visit her dad's sister, Sister Madeline Aubin, who ministered in Montana and returned to Oldenburg during the summer. Visiting with the large community of Sisters and seeing how happy they were greatly influenced Sister Michael Ann's decision to enter religious life.

Those who knew the Sister knew of her love of baseball and the Cincinnati Reds. She listened to most every game as her transistor radio was her constant companion. She was known for her great sense of humor, and in addition to educating young students, her interests included singing, crocheting, sorting stamps and tending to roses. Having lived in Richmond, the "City of Roses," left a special place in her heart for all the beauty of God's earth, especially His roses.

Earlier this year Sister Michael Ann celebrated her 75th Jubilee, and when reflecting upon her favorite prayer, she commented, "My favorite prayer is the rosary. Devotion to our Blessed Mother, Mary, has been special for me. My aunt, Sister Madeline, sent me a rosary every Christmas while I was growing up. Now in my aging years, holding the rosary and the repetition of the Hail Mary is easy and helps keep my mind focused on the mysteries. Praying and holding the rosary brings comfort and peace each day to my heart and soul."

Rest in peace, good and faithful servant, may you know the beauty of God's dwelling place while watching over the Reds and reminding us to stop and smell the roses and appreciate the beauty that surrounds us.

She is survived by her sister Lillian Mendenhall, Englewood, Florida; brother the Rev. Joseph Aubin, DeWitt, Michigan; as well as numerous nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, she was also preceded in death by sister Mary Ann Courchaine and brother Henry Aubin.

Visitation is Thursday, June 16, from 1-3 p.m. at the convent chapel. Funeral services follow at 3 p.m. with her brother, the Rev. Joseph Aubin, officiating and the Rev. Robert Weakley, OFM, co-concelebrating. Burial will follow in the convent cemetery. Memorials may be made to Sisters of St. Francis, P.O. Box 100, Oldenburg, IN 47036 (www.OldenburgFranciscans.org). Weigel Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Published on June 16, 2016
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