In our Dominican tradition, we celebrate Jubilee years of Sisters. We are blessed to recognize Jubilarians for their vowed lives and service for 80, 75, 70, 60, 50, and 25 years. We honor each woman and the unique contributions she has made to the world and to our Congregation mission. Each Jubilarian tells her own story — in her own way — sharing about her life, her ministries, her learnings, her joys, and her sorrows. And our Congregation shares in the storytelling, reflecting on the common threads that run through our lives together. The unfolding of the mystery of God’s presence in our lives is awesome and we are blessed to celebrate 2017 Jubilarian Sr. Marie Benedict O’Toole.

“It is good to give thanks to God, to make music to His Name, and proclaim God’s love each day.” Psalm 93

This is what makes my life as a Grand Rapids Dominican so up-lifting. Each day is a gift and is filled with many ways to enjoy it. I want to thank my loving family, my community, and faithful friends for the support they have given me throughout these 70 years.

I was born in Merrill, Michigan to Benedict and Marie O’Toole in 1925. I am the seventh of ten children in our family. At the present time I am the only member of my family still living.

I was educated at Sacred Heart School in Merrill, Michigan with Dominican Sisters as my teachers. I worked for a year at J.C. Penney in Saginaw, Michigan after high school. During that year a friend of mine told me she was going to enter the Convent at Marywood. I decided to go with her in 1946. She didn’t stay, but here I am celebrating my 70th Jubilee.

I attended Aquinas College and Western Michigan University. My ministries were elementary school teaching and tutoring for many years.

I am a person who likes to walk and travel. I have enjoyed a number of trips with friends, but one of the biggest thrills of my life was walking across the Mackinac Bridge on Labor Day with hundreds of people.