Funeral Mass held for Sr. Maris Stella Mogan

Sister of Mercy served at St. Mary’s Medical Center, appeared with Peyton Manning in TV ads

Sister Maris Stella Mogan, RSM, who served for nearly two decades at St. Mary’s Medical Center and helped launch Peyton Manning’s successful second career in advertising, died April 18 after an extended illness. She was 90.

Sister Maris Stella passed away at Mercy Convent in Nashville. She was a Sister of Mercy for 68 years and held positions in education in many Catholic schools in Tennessee.

She also served at St. Mary’s Medical Center in Knoxville as the patient/family liaison in the emergency room from 1988 until her retirement in 2006.

In her role while serving at St. Mary’s Medical Center, Sister Maris Stella was called on to visit with Mr. Manning, who at that time was the starting quarterback for the Tennessee Volunteers and was in the hospital recovering from a football injury.

From that encounter grew a friendly relationship, with the two sharing an easy rapport that translated to the TV screen.

Following his recovery, she teamed with Mr. Manning in several award-winning commercials promoting the excellent care patients received at St. Mary’s, the hospital she so greatly loved.

In the commercials, Sister Maris Stella is usually seen running long distances to catch and return passes from Mr. Manning. In one ad, Manning throws the football over a building, where the pass is caught and returned with equal strength by Sister Maris Stella. “Miracles are possible,” the commercial tagline says.

“Be careful, sister” Mr. Manning calls out as she scurries down a walkway.

“Thank you,” Sister Maris Stella says politely, while never slowing down.

“I don’t know about this,” Mr. Manning tells the camera, as he launches a pass over a building. “Did she catch that?”

Viewers hear Sister Maris Stella saying “coming back atcha!” as the football is returned over the building.

The commercials were very popular with TV audiences and also proved to be a very effective public-relations effort for the medical center.

Sister Maris Stella was preceded in death by her parents, Joseph and Helen Mogan; her siblings, Dr. Edward Mogan, Dr. Joseph Mogan, Catherine Childs, Dr. Thomas Mogan, John Mogan, and Sister Thomasetta Mogan, RSM. She is survived by her niece, Cathy Childs Matteson (Michael), along with numerous other nieces and nephews.

Always attentive to the needs of others, Sister Maris Stella had a special concern for the poor and homeless and was known as an “angel of Mercy.”

After she retired, Sister Maris Stella continued to help people in need, always remembering them in prayer. She contributed significantly to the community life at Mercy Convent.

Her commitment to God was reflected by the motto in her ring, “Thy Will Be Done.”

Sister Maris Stella is now reunited with her beloved sister, Sister Thomasetta Mogan, RSM, who died Jan. 21, 2021. They were special blessings in the lives of all who met them and are remembered for their smiles, kindness, and loving concern for others.

A private funeral was held at Mercy Convent in Nashville followed by burial at Calvary Cemetery, also in Nashville.

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