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In Memoriam: Sister Agnes Jean Lavin, OSB

Headshot of Sister Agnes Jean Lavin.

Sister Agnes Jean Lavin, OSB
May 31, 1924 - January 17, 2018

Our sister, Jean, passed into eternity
in a manner befitting her contemplative spirit:
peacefully and in the presence of God alone.

Jean lived life with faith and fervor:
committed to prayer,
awakened to transformation;
with an enriched social consciousness
and an abundance of creativity and vision.

Full of grace and beauty,
Jean was an exceptional teacher
and an enlightened spiritual guide.
She devoted herself to well-being and witness
as a Benedictine presence in the world.

Let us hold dear the memory of this woman
who showed us how important it is
to live and move and be in God.

May you, O God: Source of all life,
Universal Christ, and Evolutionary Spirit,
keep us open and receptive
to your Presence within and about us,
in all ways and always, now and forever.

Sister Agnes Jean Lavin, OSB, 93, and in the 73rd year of her religious life, died on January 17, 2018 at Mount Saint Benedict Monastery in Erie, Pennsylvania.

A native of Sharon, Pennsylvania, Sister Agnes Jean, known to many simply as Sister Jean, was the daughter of John and Agnes (Dean) Lavin. She entered the Benedictine Sisters of Erie in 1944, pronounced her first vows in 1945 and perpetual monastic vows in 1948.

Sister Jean was an accomplished musician and held a BM and MM in Piano Performance from the Eastman School of Music. She also earned an MS in Psychology (Center for Leadership Studies, Escondido, CA) and an EdD in System Development and Adaptation (Boston University). For 20 years she was a music instructor at various schools in the Erie Diocese: St. Stephen, (Oil City), St. Michael (Fryburg), Sacred Heart (Sharon), and St. Benedict Academy (Erie), before becoming an assistant professor of music and acting chairperson of the piano department at Youngstown University. In addition, she produced and directed “Sisters ’66,” a fundraising musical production by the Erie Benedictines that was televised on the Ed Sullivan show in 1967. Sister Jean was an excellent teacher and following her musical career she worked in several capacities in the business department of Mercyhurst University, including positions as a tenured professor (Business and PACE program) and director (Business Department and Interpersonal Development Programs).

Through the years Sister Jean was also engaged in internal community ministry and for a period of time she served on the monastic council and in monastic formation as Scholastic Director and Director of Sisters in the Transfer process.

In 1990 Sister Jean began ministry at St. Benedict Education Center as a faculty member in life skills and as the director of Stillpoint contemplative prayer retreats, a ministry for which she was prepared as a result of intensive training in contemplation. As a Fulbright Scholar Sister Jean traveled abroad (England, Holland, Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Italy, Greece, Egypt, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Philippines, and Japan) to engage in this preparation. She became an enlightened spiritual guide and devoted herself to well-being and the witness of God as a Benedictine presence in the world. She will be remembered as a woman full of grace and beauty who modeled what it meant to live and move and be in God. At the time of her death she was engaged in the ministry of prayer and presence.

Sister Jean was preceded in death by her parents and her brothers: Oswald, William, John and James and her sister, Sister Roberta, OSB. She is survived by her Benedictine community, her sister-in-law Ruth Lavin (James), many nieces and nephews and their children, and faithful friend in community, Sister Miriam Mashank, OSB.

Services will take place at Mount Saint Benedict Monastery: Visitation, Monday, 2:00– 7:00 p.m. and Tuesday, 2:00 – 5:00 p.m., a Service of Memories on Monday at 7:00 p.m. and a Mass of Christian Burial on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. Interment will be on Wednesday at 8:15 a.m. in Trinity Cemetery. Memorials may be made to the Benedictine Sisters of Erie, 6101 East Lake Road, Erie, Pennsylvania 16511. Brugger Funeral Homes and Crematory, Pine Avenue Branch, 845 East 38th Street, is in charge of the arrangements.

Memorials may be made to the Benedictine Sisters of Erie, 6101 East Lake Road, Erie, PA 16511. Click here to offer an online memorial.