Sister M. Edwina Finnegan, OP

Sister M. Edwina Finnegan has touched many lives throughout her 75 years of religious life. Her desire to help students learn was the catalyst for her teaching career. 

Born and baptizedin Dwight, Ill., she grew up in Odell and considers St. Paul Parish there her home parish.  

She always knew she would enter the convent after high school but chose to work for one year after high school. “That would allow me—the youngest of six children—to ‘sow my wild oats.’” which to her meant taking a vacation to visit her older sisters who were living and working in Maryland. 

Sister M. Edwina’s first assignments were teaching at St. Joseph in Bradley, Sacred Heart School at Granite City, St. Rose School at Jacksonville and St. Thomas in Philo. 

In Springfield she taught students at St. Frances Cabrini, Little Flower, and Christ the King School. She also taught at St. Mary’s, East Moline, St. Thomas in Crystal Lake and Our Lady Queen Peace, Bethalto. 

Her passion for assisting students who struggle to learn led to her role as a tutor at Holy Angels School, Aurora. At Holy Cross School, Mendota, she pioneered a reading program. 

Sister M. Edwina is one of two sisters who have the distinction of celebrating their 75th anniversary of profession during the 150th anniversary year of the congregation. She lives at Sacred Heart Convent in Springfield, where she is a minister of prayer and enjoys following the Chicago Cubs. 

She credits The Dominican Sisters who taught her in Odell for providing a perfect example of living religious life. “A lot of us learned, from the example set for us, that religious life is rich with adventure and relationship,” she said. In retirement she has reveled in quilting and sewing, and these days spends lots of time in prayer. 

The youngest of six children, all of whom have died, Sister M. Edwina has 23 living nieces and nephews, some of whom will join her for a celebration at Sacred Heart Convent in June. 

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9 thoughts on “Sister M. Edwina Finnegan, OP”

  1. Congratulations Sr. M. Edwina on 75 years! It was such a delight to meet you at the Motherhouse so many years ago. We still have our many assorted drink coasters that you created in the craft room. Julie & kids (who are now grown)

  2. I had the pleasure of teaching with Sister Edwina, many years ago in Bethalto, Illinois. She is one of the kindest, most creative people I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with.

  3. Sister Edwina, we really enjoyed celebrating your 75th jubilee with you last month. Thank you for all that you have done and continue to do for your the community! Please continue praying for all of the Finnegan family! We will continue to pray for you and all the Sisters.
    Joe and Lisa Finnegan.

  4. Bernadette Friedel

    Sister Edwina is a great friend of mine!!
    She shows everyone how much God loves them by her conversation and kindness!!
    She is such a blessing to all!
    She is loved by so many!!
    I taught with her in Bethalto many years ago and remember what an inspiration she was to all!!
    Many more happy years to you!!
    Congratulations, dear Sister!!
    God Bless You!!

  5. You look Great on your website Sr. Edwina! And always you have that warm smile. You have always been a great role model for me, and so many other family members and friends. I’ve never been in one of your classes (probably best for both of us?!? 😊) but you have certainly taught me a lot just by your example of leading a life so devoted to God, while also being so much fun! I am very fortunate to be your nephew and friend! Your Jubilee was a great tribute and also a great reunion of family and friends who all love you so!

  6. Congratulations on your Jubilee! I remember Sr Edwina from her time at Little Flower School. She would bring the office staff warm banana bread with butter. 😊And her sugar cookies were the absolute best.  👍

  7. Sister Edwina, I was a student of yours in 4th Grade at Christ The King School in Springfield. It was 1974-75. Saw your picture by some strange happening and wanted to shoot you a message. Congratulations!!!

  8. Sr Edwina, you were my teacher in 1st grade at Our Savior school in Jacksonville, IL in 1957. I lived next door to the school and my siblings and I were fortunate to interact with the nuns outside of school when you lived in the “old” convent located between the grade school and the “old” Routt High School. Thank you for your contribution to my education.
    James G. (Gerry) Hughes
    LtCol USMC (Retired)

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