“All I can say is – life is gracious.”

In the midst of our every day world I was called to be a Grand Rapids Dominican and it truly has been a wondrous, mysterious journey. God’s mercy is fresh every morning. It is the way I live. So much of life is a mystery – win a few encounters and lose many more, but always in the cloud of smoke and fire. I try to remember that not getting what I want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.

The years continue to pass by, and I wonder – what is God calling me to this time, at this moment, at this turn of the journey? The only thing I am sure of is Mercy covers me each day as I try to live, pray, preach, and study; as I try to be a generous, compassionate, and loving presence in the midst of the wonderful people who travel the path of peace and reconciliation with me. The smoke of the Holy Spirit blows circles ‘round my rich and surprising days and lights a fire of passion for the nights when the lonely and disenfranchised seek refuge in a loving embrace.

Sixty years of committed Dominican Life is but a breath, and the smoke and fire allow the Light to shine, demanding a lot of gratitude and gumption. All I can say is – life is gracious.

Life Story

On George Washington’s birthday, 1942 Leo and Leona DeWyse welcomed into the world their first of two daughters and named her after the then sitting president’s wife. Eleanor has five siblings and they all attended St. John the Evangelist Grade and High School in Essexville, Michigan, staffed by the Grand Rapids Dominican Sisters.

After coming to the Congregation in 1960, she took the name Sister Mary Jarrett of the Child Jesus. Upon completing her BS in Chemistry, she taught chemistry and physics at Marywood Academy. During her fourth year of teaching she finished an MA in Religious Studies. In the wake of Vatican II when the Grand Rapids Diocese desired to develop Adult Religious Education in the parishes, she was invited by the bishop to study theology at the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium. Since those days Jarrett has served in pastoral roles as diocesan teacher, campus minister, parish preacher and director of several endeavors for the Congregation. Full circle was completed starting in Grand Rapids, and then East Lansing, Kankakee, and now back to Grand Rapids.

Sister Jarrett served as the Director of Housing Development for Dwelling Place where she worked with architects, contractors, city officials and several other collaborators in providing the funding and the means to build safe, affordable housing for a variety of persons who need housing. Sister Jarrett’s present ministry is Coordinator of the Marywood Campus Planning. When time allows she loves to read, travel, follow MSU sports, bum around places that energize her creative spirit. When time allows she loves to read, travel, follow MSU sports, bum around places that energize her creative spirit.