The seed of my vocation was planted in the third grade but soon ignored until I was a freshman at Ursuline Academy in Kirkwood, Mo. This dormant seed was watered that year during the celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Ursuline Sisters’ arrival in St. Louis. Preparation for this event included studying the life and ministry of the Ursulines’ foundress, St. Angela Merici. As a result, I once again began to experience God’s call to religious life. As I approached the time to decide which congregation I would join, I felt a strong attraction to the Ursuline Sisters, whose spirit of prayer, service and hospitality was so evident to me.
After a period of initial formation as an Ursuline Sister, my ministries included teaching and administration in elementary schools, secondary schools and adult basic education programs; Hispanic ministry in a parish; and Ursuline community administration.
A strong desire and decision to leave high school teaching and administration to minister in another form of secondary education first brought me to this region of Missouri in 1989. This journey also brought me 11 years of rewards, challenges and happiness while helping many adults realize a long-awaited dream—completion of their high school education through the GED program at the Bootheel Education Center in Malden, Mo.
Twenty-two years later I was drawn back to Southeast Missouri, joining two other Ursuline Sisters in Cape Girardeau. My hair is now white, my gait is slower, but my desire to be with the people of this area continues to grow. I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of a women’s prayer group through St. Vincent de Paul parish and to be invited to help develop a new program, “Transition into Transformation,” at Love in the Name of Christ, a Christian agency assisting those in need.
Being a people person, I appreciate the many opportunities for interacting with others—whether that is in a water aerobics class or through visiting with the residents of the physical rehabilitation unit at a local nursing home. It is my hope that my presence in Southeast Missouri will make a difference in people’s lives. I know it has made a difference in mine.
Sr. Marianne Mullen visits with a resident of the Chateau Terraces in Cape Girardeau.