Sister Leann Cogan is our pioneering sister from Nathrop, Colorado. The cattle ranch she grew up on is still operating under the care and management of her brother Joe and his sons. Sister Leann is the oldest of seven children born to John and Elizabeth Cogan. It was a very close knit family. They worked hard and played hard, and shared huge Sunday chicken dinners prepared by their mother.
Sister Leann was a “cowgirl” in the truest sense of the word. She rode and wrangled cattle, hunted and fished with her dad, worked in the hayfield, drove teams and helped her mother in and around the house.
Sister Leann’s vocation came to her while in her second year of college at Mount Saint Scholastica. She entered the convent in 1939 and took her final vows in 1943. She is a charter member of Benet Hill Monastery. Sister Leann’s ministries have been varied and illustrious. Sister Leann received an MS degree from Notre Dame University, a Professional of Education Administration Degree from Colorado University in Boulder, and Chaplaincy Certification Preparation from the United States Army
She taught in schools in Iowa, Missouri, Colorado, and at Donnelly College in Kansas City, KS. Leann served as superintendent in the So. Conejos RE- I 0 District, directed religious education with the U.S. Army at Fort Carson & Fitzsimons Army Medical Center, and ministered as a chaplain at Penrose Hospital in Colorado Springs. At the time when most of us are retiring, Sister Leann volunteered to teach student nurses in Guyana, South America for a year.
Sister Leann has served the Benet Hill Community as Treasurer, monastic council member, the director of the Adult Learning Opportunity program as well as serving on various administrative committees and internal ministry for the monastery.
Sister Leann “taught the poorest and the little ones” in her lifetime, and enjoyed all of her adventures, She has loved nature, fishing and a stimulating conversation. As a pioneering woman, Sister Leann has left a trail of leaves of kindness, branches of patience, and mountains of love. She counts the moon and stars among her friends…all signs of God’s presence in her life.
Leann sees being part of the pre and post Vatican renewal as a special blessing. As she says, “Ministering to people as an educator and in pastoral service was wonderful, and the regularity of monastic prayer and knowing the sisters has been life-giving. Of all that I have done, the highlight is ministering in Guyana when I was seventy. All of this has transformed me, tamed me some. It’s been a great ride.”
Sister Leanne will celebrate 75 years of vowed life at the opening of Benet Hill’s 50th Jubilee June 14, 2015.