Birth: October 22, 1926Profession: July 30, 1956Death: November 10, 2013
Religious of the Sacred Heart Maureen Cronin, died Sunday, November 10, at Oakwood, the Society of the Sacred Heart’s elder care center in Atherton, California. A brilliant researcher and educator, Sister Cronin served for twenty years at Lone Mountain College (now part of the University of San Francisco) and twenty years at the University of San Diego, both colleges operated by the Society of the Sacred Heart. Her life will be celebrated in a Mass of Christian Burial at 10:00 a.m. on Friday, November 15 at Oakwood, 140 Valparaiso Avenue, Atherton, CA 94027. Burial will be at Oakwood.
Maureen Patricia Cronin, was born October 22, 1926, in San Francisco, CA, the only daughter of Daniel Francis Cronin and Catherine Barron Cronin. She was predeceased by her parents and two brothers, Stephen B. Cronin and Donal F. Cronin. She is survived by a nephew, Steve Cronin of Dewey, Arizona, a first cousin, Robert Barron of Middletown, Connecticut and a cousin, Gael Beresford Raven, of San Francisco, as well as her Sisters in the Society of the Sacred Heart.
In school, Maureen excelled in both academics and athletics. A star baseball, basketball and tennis player, she worked as basketball coach at her high school while working her way through San Francisco College for Women (later Lone Mountain College), where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in history and political science in 1947.
Maureen entered the Society of the Sacred Heart at Kenwood, Albany, NY, on September 7, 1948, and pronounced her first vows in the Society on March 5, 1951. For the following five years she taught elementary school and was in charge of athletics at the Sacred Heart academies in Menlo Park and San Francisco, while completing a Master’s Degree in history at Stanford University. She made her final profession of vows in Rome on July 30, 1956.
After earning her Ph.D. in history from Stanford University, Sister Cronin began twenty years of ministry at Lone Mountain College in San Francisco, as professor of history and political science. During her tenure, her duties also included chairing the social science division, sophomore counselor, developer of curriculum, resident adviser and bookstore manager.
In 1979, Sister Cronin became assistant to the provost and director of institutional research at the University of San Diego, where she remained until her retirement in 1999.
Sister Cronin was a quiet but strong presence, often serving in leadership roles at the universities where she served. She was president of the faculty and a member of the Faculty Executive at Lone Mountain College. At the University of San Diego, she belonged to the University Cabinet, as well as numerous committees. She was selected “outstanding educator in America” in 1971. She received many fellowships and grants and was widely published.
A former colleague recalled, “During the years I worked with Maureen, I experienced her as a patient, kind, compassionate, generous, and humble woman. For her, the person was more important than the work. Maureen was brilliant. She was a beautiful woman who touched and changed my life. I have become more compassionate because of her. I learned to ‘see people as God sees them.’”
Sister Cronin moved to Oakwood in 2000, where she slipped into her own world of dementia.