“It is not a matter of doing a great deal but of loving a great deal. So do whatever impels you to love.”

– St. Teresa of Avila

In the Portola District of San Francisco where her parents grew up and had family homes, Sister Ann was born to Thomas and Roberta, their only girl and the youngest of three children. She first encountered Presentation Sisters when two Sisters from the recently opened St. Elizabeth School nearby came to pay a condolence call on her mother following her father’s death in 1949. Sister Ann was in the first class to complete all eight grades at St. Elizabeth’s; she then attended Presentation High School.

Sister Carl Fisher was her fifth grade (and favorite) teacher at St. Elizabeth’s. Sister Ann’s class was known to be somewhat unruly, but Sister Carl was up to that challenge, employing art, plays, and music along with strong instruction. This contrasted to some other teachers’ practice of using math as a punishment, though Sister Ann notes that the amount of math the class did through the years likely led to her success in that area and eventually to her pursuing a degree in mathematics.

Sr. Ann Conlon with her family.

Following graduation, Sister Ann received a scholarship for nursing school, the career path she thought was meant for her. However, the same day she received the scholarship offer, the mail also brought notice of her acceptance to the convent. As nothing could compare with the opportunity to become one of the Sisters who had taught and guided her, the decision to join them was not difficult.

Sister Ann and Sister Joanna Bruno were the only two who made their final vow professions in the summer of 1970. Their time of retreat and profession preparation together was the start of a long friendship. Sister Ann has especially enjoyed spending summers in the mission field visiting Sister Joanna. Her love of cooking was much appreciated at those missions, where she volunteered as the “chef.”

Sister Ann’s career in education took her to assignments as teacher, administrator, and development director. Her favorite teaching ministry was at Skyline College, but she remembers that each level of teaching had its special moments and special longtime friends, including Sister Rita Killackey OSB and Sister Susan Barry OSU.

Presently, she is a receptionist two days a week at St. Ignatius parish while also handling many administrative and managerial duties for the congregation, and is an important source of support to her brother, Patrick, who is in a care facility.

Her brother Thomas died in 2004 and left a wonderful family for Sister Ann and her bachelor brother Patrick to cherish. In 2021 she became a great grand aunt.

Sr. Ann Conlon with her great-grandniece Zephyr.

God’s presence has been tangible throughout her life in the warmth and joy of her community, her family and friends, and in the various ministries over her forty-one years in education. For this, Sister Ann is truly grateful.

Ministries

1965 – 1966 Substitute Teacher (part-time), Cathedral, San Francisco
1966 – 1967 Teacher, St. John School, San Lorenzo.
1967 – 1970 Teacher, Holy Trinity School, San Pedro
1970 – 1972 Teacher, St. Columba School, Oakland (second foreign mission)
1972 – 1973 Teacher, St. Elizabeth School, San Francisco
1973 – 1974 Teacher and Chair of Mathematics Department, Our Lady of Loretto High School, Los Angeles
1974 – 1980 Teacher and Sophomore Moderator, Presentation High School, San Francisco
1981 – 1982 Development Director and Teacher, LeBlond High School, St. Joseph, Missouri.
1982 – 1983 Administrative Team and Curriculum Director, Mercy High School, Burlingame
1983 – 1986 Development Director, St. John Ursuline School, San Francisco
1986 – 1988 Principal, St. Vincent DePaul School, San Francisco
1988 – 1989 Board of Trustees, Presentation High School, San Francisco
1988 – 1989 Teacher, Wilson High School, San Francisco
1989 – 1998 Teacher, Westmoor High School, Daly City
1994 Sabbatical
1998 – 1999 Volunteer, Safehouse, San Francisco
1998 – 2003 Teacher (part-time), Skyline College, San Bruno; Volunteer at Motherhouse, San Francisco
2003 – 2005 Substitute teacher and volunteer, De Marillac Academy; Motherhouse bookkeeper, San Francisco
2005 – 2010 Executive Assistant, Office Manager, Fleet Manager, Presentation Sisters, San Francisco
2010 – 2016 Property Manager, volunteer, Epiphany Center, San Francisco
2016 – 2019 Volunteer, Institute on Aging, St. Ignatius Parish, and Motherhouse, San Francisco
2019 – 2021 Property Manager of Moss Beach and 2155/2153 Turk; Receptionist, St. Ignatius parish (part-time); volunteer shopper for Motherhouse, San Francisco