Sister Barbara (Raymond Teresa) Hanagan

Barbara was born in Winnipeg, Canada. Eventually the entire family moved to Marysville, California, where St. Joseph Church and Notre Dame School were the center of her early Catholic life. She remembers helping the Sisters teach the younger children during summer school and thinking that she, too, would like to be a teacher.

Most of her teaching career was spent in Notre Dame de Namur elementary schools in Chico and Alameda, then in high schools in Watsonville, San Jose, Belmont, Marysville, and Salinas, California. One of her favorite assignments was Hawaii, where she had the opportunity to teach on a faculty with many Sisters from different religious orders.

Sister Barbara, who is gentle, soft-spoken, attentive to others and very kind, also served as Principal and, with “the grace of the charge,” the unlikely position of dean of discipline. She especially enjoyed teaching religion and history and was inspired by the enthusiasm and idealism of the high school students she taught.

When Sisters Elizabeth Hagmaier, Julie Bellefeuille, and Barbara Hanagan lived at the Province Center, they would visit a nearby convalescent center weekly.

Community living in Notre Dame has been a special blessing for Sister Barbara. She has felt the goodness, faithfulness, and spirituality of her Sisters as a gift in her life. When she served as the Director of the Boarding School, Sister Teresa Augustine wrote of her: “Sensitivity has made Sister Barbara special and all of life special to her. Her realization that the awesomeness of living is contained in seemingly inconsequential details enables her to be deeply and delicately aware of people, a vital quality for a Boarding School Director and Guidance Director.”

Sister Barbara Hanagan at her Jubilee celebration in 2005.

Sister Barbara has stated that “the presence of God is the greatest blessing of my years as a Sister. In the ordinariness of life, in the small miracles — it is being present in quiet in the community of prayer.”
At the Province Center in Belmont, where she lived for several years, she was happy to assist in the third grade at Immaculate Heart of Mary School and to take Communion to the sick at Belmont Vista Convalescent Home.

Now residing at Mercy Retirement and Care Center in Oakland, Sister Barbara can be counted on to accompany any of the Sisters when they are dying. She continues to do what she has done all her life—reflect the goodness of God and find it in others.

In Sister Barbara’s own words:

“Oh my, I’m in Chapel
Looking at the Lord
Seeking to be blessed
Four of us now
Wonderful silence
Spirit-filled quiet
Be Still
God is here!”

Sister Barbara Hanagan with young relatives at her 60th Jubilee celebration in 2005.


Sister Barbara's Ministries

Sr. Barbara Hanagan celebrates St. Patrick's Day at Mercy Retirement & Care Center in Oakland, where she lives.
A selection of collages created by Sr. Barbara Hanagan.

1948-54 Notre Dame Elementary School, Chico, CA
1954-56 Notre Dame Elementary School, Alameda, CA
1956-57 Notre Dame High School, Watsonville, CA
1957-62 Notre Dame High School, San Jose, CA
1962-63 Notre Dame High School, Belmont, CA
1963-64 Blanchett High School, Seattle, WA
1964-67 Notre Dame High School, Belmont, CA
1967-69 Notre Dame Elementary School, Chico, CA (Superior, Principal and Teacher)
1969-70 Notre Dame High School, Marysville, CA
1970-74 Star of the Sea High School, Honolulu, HI
1974-82 Notre Dame High School, Salinas, CA
1982-84 Notre Dame High School, Belmont, CA
1984-87 Free Wheeler's Association, San Francisco, CA
1987-88 Silver Penny Farm, Petaluma, CA (Coordinator)
1992-94 Notre Dame Villa, Saratoga, CA (Administrative Assistant)
1994-96 Madonna del Sasso School, Salinas, CA (ESL & Literacy)
1996-2003 Moreland Notre Dame School, Watsonville, CA
2003- Immaculate Heart of Mary School, Belmont, CA (Volunteer) and Belmont Vista Convalescent Home, Belmont CA (Volunteer)


  1. Congratulations Sister Barbara. I think of the Sisters in the kitchen of the Province center in Belmont, often. Thank you for bringing me Hershey's kisses during my weekend cooking shifts.

  2. Congratulations Sr Raymond Teresa! Your life and all that you have accomplished is an inspiration to all.

    I was at Notre Dame San Jose when you were there and I remember you as they have described you so aptly!

    Wish you well in your living situation and may you have many more good years.

  3. Congratulations on your jubilee, Sister Barbara. Give me a call next time you're in Yuba City. I'm still at the same old place. Your old student from Chico, Jolyne, lives in YC too. Phone is

  4. Congratulations, Sister Barbara! I remember special years at Notre Dame San Jose from '58-'62. You were an inspiration then and continue to be today!!

  5. Congratulations, Sister Barbara. You may not remember me. I was one of your students in Chico in 1951. I remember the date because I just came across a letter that you wrote to me.
    I am in shock that I was able to find you by just goggling your name and there you were. I
    have often wondered where you were over the years. Now I know. It sounds like you have had a wonderful life. Thank you for being an inspiration to me growing up.
    Barbara Neibert Conger

    1. Thank you for the lovely message, Barbara! I will share your message with Sr. Barbara.

      (For the Sister)

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