Biography of Sr. Marie Augusta Neal, SND, Professor of Sociology

Sr. Marie Augusta Neal, SND
Emmanuel College Professor of Sociology (1953-1991)

Sr. Marie Augusta Neal, SND was born Helen Catherine Neal on June 21, 1921 in Brighton, Massachusetts to Thomas F. and Helen A. (Taylor) Neal. She had three siblings Frank Neal, Marie (Neal) Kelley and Grace (Neal) DiSciullo. She was educated at Notre Dame AcademySr. Marie Augusta Neal, SND, 1969-1970 on Granby Street in Boston, Massachusetts, before attending Emmanuel College where she graduated in 1942 and then entered the Sisters of Notre Dame Congregation in 1943. She taught secondary school between 1946 and 1953 in Lawrence, Massachusetts and in Boston, Massachusetts before starting her teaching career at Emmanuel College in 1953, after earning her Master’s Degree from Boston College. Sr. Marie Augusta Neal, SND then earned her doctorate in 1963 from Harvard University.

In 1965, She became the Director of the Research Committee of the Conference of Major Superiors of Women’s Institute (CMSW) which conducted an examination of the resources of nuns in the United States for the work of the Church in a post-Conciliar (i.e. post-Vatican II) period. She was also involved with studies of Jesuits in the California and Oregon Provinces, a multi-national study of the SND Congregation, and a survey of Catholic schools in South Africa, a study that she refused to participate in until it was agreed to include black schools, as well as, white schools. The study survey exposed the vast inequities between the white and black schools. Sr. Marie Augusta Neal, SND was awarded the Distinguished Contribution to Teaching Award by the American Sociological Society in 1986. She retired from Emmanuel College in 1991 as head of the Sociology Department. and was granted the rank of Professor Emeritus. Sr. Marie Augusta Neal, SND died on February 25, 2004.

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