How can I make a return to the Lord for all the good He has done for me?
The years have flown by; it seems only yesterday I was considering religious life as a lifestyle option. It has been a blessed journey thus far, and in the Providence of God, I know that the `dance’ will continue to offer life, energy, and beauty. My heart overflows with gratitude for my family, sisters, friends and acquaintances who have helped keep the face of Jesus before me.
Sister Elizabeth is the Director of Marywood Franciscan Spirituality Center in Arborvitae, Wisconsin. She manages marketing, fundraising, operations. She calls this ministry in the north woods of Wisconsin the capstone of her life. “Every ministry before led me here to this spiritual retreat center on a lake in the middle of a pine forest.”
“Nature soothes the soul, it centers me and brings me in touch with the Creator. And to be ministering in this place where we can share the quiet peacefulness of creation is such a blessing in my life. The retreats and programming at “the other Marywood” is for women and men religious of all orders, adult catechists, and confirmation students. We blend art, nature, and spirituality. We have backpacking and kayaking retreats.”
Before settling into her ninth year at Marywood, Sister Elizabeth taught and worked in administration of schools. She served as the first development director for the Dominican Sisters ~ Grand Rapids.
She is a 1974 Aquinas College grad with a BA in Spanish. She later earned an MA in Religious Education from Aquinas College and an MA in Hospital and Health Administration from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio. In Cincinnati, she was vice president of a hospital. She later served as Vice President of Mission Integration at Central Kansas Medical Center in Great Bend, Kansas for five years.
Among her favorite memories of serving at the Grand Rapids Marywood is being present for the opening of Dominican Center at Marywood. “It was a wonderful thing to open Dominican Center at Marywood. It’s a place where people can come and be real, just be themselves. And they come here where people offer excellent conference hospitality,” she says.
Another memory is traveling to Chimbote, Peru with then Prioress Sr. Barbara Hansen. The two went to witness the blessing of a newly renovated commercial kitchen at Maternidad. “My degree in Spanish came in quite handy and her memory didn’t fail her. “The priest from Pittsburg got sick and wasn’t able to attend the Blessing Ceremony and so I filled in, practicing my Spanish for hours in the convent before the ceremony. It was a great experience!”
At “the other Marywood” in Wisconsin, she is also a spiritual director. “I direct retreats, 1-day, 3-day, and 30-day retreats for individuals — many are vowed religious men and women and people who are preparing for final vows — from all over the United States.”
“I am the spiritual director for a number of ministers/pastors from other faith traditions. That’s a really energizing aspect of my ministry.”
2018 – 43 Years a Sister
Pray for people suffering from addictions
Sister Elizabeth coordinates the Spirit of Marywood golf outing, held annually to raise money for Marywood Franciscan Spirituality Center in Arborvitae, Wisconsin.
Sister Elizabeth with staff at Marywood Franciscan Spirituality Center.
Sister Elizabeth at her desk.
Sister Elizabeth knows how to clown around and has been doing her own makeup and performances for years.