From the Pastor: July 12

Question of the Week:  In this week’s Gospel from Matthew (Mt 13:1-23), Jesus describes seeds falling on various kinds of soil. Can we identify the ways we can be like the various kinds of soil Jesus describes in terms of receiving God’s word in our lives? How can we change our soil to receive God’s word and produce fruit for God’s Kingdom? How will God help us?

We have been very blessed in our parish over the years with both priestly and religious vocations. On July 22 at 10am, Sr. Mary Andre Thelen,  formerly known as Laura Thelen, will make her perpetual vows and join the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist.   

We thank God for her “yes” to the Lord! She, with God’s help, had softened and cleared the ground of her heart of rocks and weeds and thorns, that could have impeded God’s word to her. It was not easy, but she heard God’s word and received it with joy, and it took root!

Sr. Mary Andre is the daughter of parishioners Brian and Mary Ann Thelen. Laura attended St. Thomas the Apostle Catholic School from 1998-2004, and was part of the St. Thomas youth group while attending Father Gabriel Richard High School from 2004-2008  She entered the postulancy with the Dominican Sisters of Mary Mother of the Eucharist in August 2012 after graduating from the University of Notre Dame Summa Cum Laude with a biochemistry degree (YES!). How did she make such a decision given her direction?  

In her own words: 

Although I grew up in a wonderful Catholic family, my faith did not become truly my own until high school, when I encountered people my own age who were on fire with love for Christ. As my own faith deepened, I began to wonder if I had a religious vocation. However, the community I was sure I would enter if I was called to religious life only took women with undergraduate degrees, so I went off to the University of Notre Dame to pursue a degree in biochemistry. My first year on campus was very blessed, but my comfortable life was turned upside down when the Dominican Sisters of Mary came to give a talk on campus in March. As Sr. Joseph Andrew said, “If God is calling now; then answer now!” I had a startling realization that God’s plan might not be for me to wait. The idea scared me a lot! After several novenas to St. Therese and some very clear answers, I knew in my heart that God was leading me to this Community. I still had many reservations, but over the past three years, Christ has broken down every one. He has shown me so clearly that this is where He wants me; moreover, He has given me an incredible joy about the entire journey! Many thanks to my family for their holiness and love, and to Fr. Drew Gawrych CSC for his prayers and counsel! 

Sr. Mary Andre went on to receive her masters degree from Catholic University and has been teaching at St. Michael the Archangel Catholic High School in Kansas City, MO and Lansing Catholic High School in Lansing, MI. Sr. Mary Andre will be making her final profession along with seven other sisters.  

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, they are unable to host in-person attendance for their profession ceremonies this year. The silver lining is that now, more people may participate and join in since the Profession Masses will be live-streamed from the Motherhouse. We invite you to partake in the joy of this special day as Sr. Mary Andre and the other sisters consecrate themselves to Christ, their Bridegroom. To participate in the livestream visit the Dominican Sisters of Mary Mother of the Eucharist Facebook page or YouTube at 9:45am on July 22. Please keep Sr. Mary Andre and all those who will be making perpetual vows in your prayers! All Glory be to God!