Reflecting on these seventy years as a Grand Rapids Dominican, I am filled with gratitude and happiness for my vocation. God has so enriched me with His love and abundant blessings over these years. I’m also grateful for my loving family, faithful friends, and our Dominican Sisters who have supported and encouraged me throughout this time.
I was the sixth of seven children, having two brothers and four sisters. My parents, Peter and Claribel Courtade, were faith filled Catholics and life-long members of St. Francis Parish.
I attended St. Francis School for my elementary and secondary education. I was taught by our Sisters whom I loved and admired. They had a great influence on me. On September 8th I entered the community, then enrolled at Aquinas and began my studies for a teaching career.
Teaching students in grades 3-8 was my primary mission for forty-eight years. I found teaching to be a source of energy and joy that challenged and enriched me.
Shortly after leaving the classroom, I moved to Marywood and volunteered to work at the MI Blood Center, Tandem 365, the WORD ESL program, gardening, and driving the Sisters to appointments.
I enjoy reading, puzzles, walking, listening to music, traveling, and now crocheting hats for the Santa Claus girls. I enjoyed many adventures, like tubing in Wisconsin, white water rafting in Colorado, canoeing and a clam bake in Maine, and climbing the world-famous Dunn’s River Falls in Ohio Rios while on a cruise. I have also toured some European countries. Visiting Vatican City was a very memorable experience.
2018 – 70 Years a Sister
Pray for abused women and children
Sr. Mary Courtade with her Dominican Sisters class of 1948. Sr. Mary is in the top row, far right.
“How can I repay the Lord for his goodness to me? I am most grateful to the Lord for guiding and directing me to this great community of Dominican Sisters.”
Sr. Mary Courtade with the WORD ESL Team assist women and men learn to read, write, and speak English.
Sr. Mary is in the second row middle, light blue shirt.
Sr. Mary served as a teacher in South Haven at St. Basil. She recalls the year a blizzard closed the school for a week and it took her a day to shovel a path to exit the house. Her cross country skis came in handy that winter.
Sr. Mary’s cookie baking gift is much appreciated by Sisters, friends and family. She bakes regularly; the favored recipe is white sugar cookies.