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Mary Christine (Christophil) Athans, BVM

Sister Mary Christine (Christophil) Athans, BVM, 87, died at Caritas Center, in Dubuque, Iowa, Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019.

Funeral services were Monday, Dec.16, 2019, in the Marian Hall Chapel. Burial is in the Mount Carmel cemetery.

A Memorial Mass will be held Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, at Lumen Christi Catholic Church, 2055 Bohland Ave., Saint Paul, Minn. Visitation will be at 9 a.m., with Mass at 10 a.m.

Sister Mary Christine was born on April 7, 1932, in Joliet, Ill., to Christophil and Mary Anderson Athans. She entered the BVM congregation Sept. 8, 1955, from St. Thomas the Apostle Parish, Phoenix. She professed first vows on Feb. 3, 1958, and final vows on July 16, 1963.

Sister Mary Christine was a teacher at the University of San Francisco and the Claremont School of Theology in Claremont, Calif., where she also served as assistant dean. She was an assistant professor of religious studies at the University of Illinois in Champaign and an associate professor of church history at the University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul, Minn. She ministered as associate professor and professor at the Saint Paul Seminary in Saint Paul, and as an adjunct professor at Loyola University Institute of Pastoral Studies and the Catholic Theological Union, both in Chicago. She worked as a guest lecturer and alumnae relations staff at Xavier College Preparatory in Phoenix. She also taught at St. Eugene ES in Chicago; Our Lady of Peace HS in Saint Paul, Minn.; and St. Francis Xavier in Phoenix.

She was preceded in death by her parents.  She is survived by siblings Catherine Athans and Cyril (Veronica) Athans, both of Fresno, Calif.; nieces; and the Sisters of Charity, BVM, with whom she shared life for 64 years.

Memorials may be given to Sisters of Charity, BVM Support Fund, 1100 Carmel Drive, Dubuque, IA 52003 or online at

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This Post Has 3 Comments
  1. Starward
    In Memory of Christine Athans

    She found her star
    in the way many do –
    half by choice,
    half by good chance.
    Together they lit her path.
    And she, ready for adventure,
    grabbed hold of a future
    that would reveal itself
    bit by bit,
    as she, with gift, wit, and labor,
    held steady, joy her companion
    even when clouds formed,
    and faith her assurance
    the Mystery would never fail.
    Narrator of the past,
    its lessons and clues,
    she stepped boldly into life,
    her long perspective hopeful
    and her stride ever forward,
    until the time came to fall,
    with only a little regret,
    into the generous arms of God.

    Victor Klimoski
    former colleague, St. Paul Seminary School of Divinity, University of St. Thomas

  2. Christine was one of my mother’s very best friends and she and I were birthday buddies. Losing her is a little like losing my mother all over again. Rest in peace, delightful lady.

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