The song that best describes my call to religious life is Amazing Grace.

I never felt I had a call to religious life, despite some Ursuline and Dominican Sisters having suggested it to me. So how did I end up here? 

First, I had started a novena to the Mother of Perpetual Help because they always did that novena at my church, Holy Names in Omaha, NE.  My intention in making the novena had nothing to do with discerning religious life but was to ask for help in finding me a job because I was just graduating from college at the University of Omaha with a degree in Home Economics and a minor in Education. I was praying to the Blessed Mother to help me find an appropriate job. 

As I waited for the bus to “the U”, a young man passed me at the bus stop. He could see that I was going to the University, and I could see by the stack of books in his car that he was, too. He offered me a ride so I wouldn’t have to take the bus. One morning, he had his car radio on, and I heard an ad from the Air Force saying they needed women college graduates. I thought out loud, “Well, maybe that’s what I should do.” The young man I was riding with said, “Oh, no…you might as well give up your whole life!” At that moment, a picture came to my mind of the child Jesus with his arms outstretched, saying, “I need you.” 

When I returned home, I told my aunt and my cousin, Patsy, “I’m going to write to the Mound for entrance”. Why the Mound, you might ask. I’ve often wondered about that. I was simply drawn to the Dominicans, to their hospitality and relationality. My father’s sister, Sister Lillian Maher, was a Sinsinawa Dominican sister and I knew Sisters from her home visits and from my two years at Rosary College. But as I said, I really had no desire or inclination to enter religious life. I just wanted help finding the right teaching job and to meet and marry the right guy.

Fast forward to 2021 when I celebrate 68 years of professed life! That, and my life with the Dominican Sisters of Sinsinawa, have truly been Amazing Grace!

Therese Maher, OP