Each day of National Catholic Sisters Week, we will be sharing the story of one of our new members or Jubiliarian Sisters, those celebrating significant anniversaries in religious life! Today, we honor one of our Golden Jubilarian sisters as we remember her 50 years of service to Christ, Church, and Community…
Sister Marielle celebrated her 50 years of religious profession at Sacred Heart Monastery, Yankton SD on July 11 in the presence of her community, family and friends. S. Marielle was born on June 3, 1944, to the late John and Amalia as the youngest in a family of three girls and a boy. At the age of six she began classes in a rural school a half mile from her farm home, the same farm where her father had been born and raised, in Bow Valley, NE. S. Marielle was one of three first graders and her teacher was her oldest sister. As a student at Mount Marty High School she came to know the Benedictine Sisters. Marielle feels she was attracted to religious life as long as she could remember. There was that desire to know God and to develop a close relationship with God and to help others. She finally succumbed to that desire when she entered Sacred Heart Convent in August, 1963.
As a Benedictine Sister, S. Marielle zealously shared her love of scripture and theology in 32 years of teaching religious studies at Mount Marty College. Her excellent resource book, Beginning Biblical Studies, is a valuable tool for all who seek to improve their knowledge of facts related to Biblical history and religious studies.
Reflecting on her entrance into religious life Sister Marielle stated, “I entered the community less than a year after Vatican Council II began in October 1962. As a result I lived through the tumultuous years of the later 1960s and early 1970s when United States culture, the Catholic Church and religious life were constantly undergoing monumental changes. While that made it much more challenging to discern and choose religious life, from today’s vantage point, I can see that the long and sometimes very difficult process of discerning and making a commitment to monastic life in such times made me much stronger in that commitment. As St. Benedict tells us, monastic life requires lifelong, repeated transformations of life that will continue in years to come.”
Marielle made monastic profession on June 29, 1965, and now fifty years later she offers two quotations that summarize what that life means to her. The first is a familiar line from Scripture: “God’s faithful love endures forever.” The second is St. Benedict’s primary instruction to monastics: “Prefer nothing to the love of Christ” (RB 4:21, 72:11).
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