“God has done great things for me.

The Psalmist tells us that “seventy is the sum of our years or eighty if we are strong”. This psalm verse reminds me of my seventy years as a Grand Rapids Dominican Sister.

I am grateful to my family who encouraged me to follow the call to religious life. My parents taught me how
important it was to serve others. Being born and raised on a farm, I learned early in life what it was to be a farmhand, not just on our little farm but also on the neighbor’s as needed. It was this service to others that drew me to religious life and is part of who I am today.

The first 33 years of religious life were spent in educational ministry. There are many good memories. The students on Beaver Island scored third highest on the MEAP test with the lowest cost of education per pupil in the State of Michigan. Over the years many high school graduates went on to higher education and have careers which involve serving others. Hopefully, the students, parents, and teachers who have crossed paths during my administration have benefitted is some way.

There were challenging times during these years. Saint Mary Grade School in Gaylord burned to the ground one day while in session. The school on Beaver Island was flooded with several inches of water when we arrived to begin the school year. A call from the state police one night informed me that one of the teachers had murdered a student. In another situation, two internal embezzlements left the school and parish with no funds. One day a senior girl spoke to her government class as part of an assignment, sat down when finished and fell to the floor. She passed away later that day. Blessings and endurance enabled me to work through these challenges.

My final 28 years in ministry were spent at the Diocese of Lansing. This ministry took me to many parishes throughout the 10-county diocese which resulted in a plan to revision the parishes. This achievement brought me to retirement.

I now engage in many activities. I am able to pray and read with little distraction. I sew on occasion, do needlework, garden and tend my rose bushes. Telephone calls are an important part of many days, someone needing prayers or a listening ear. Each of these is a special blessing. God indeed has been good to me.