College Years ‘Uniquely Formative,’ Says Dominican Sister
Editor’s Note: Over the next several weeks, the Newman Society will be featuring profiles of graduates of faithful Catholic schools and Newman Guide colleges who are leading the renewal of the Church. The Newman Society is grateful to Sister Albert Marie and the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, for allowing us to share this story.
Sister Albert Marie of the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, attended Ave Maria University in Michigan before it moved to its permanent location in Ave Maria, Fla. She believes that she would have kept her faith at a secular college, but she wanted more out of her college experience.
“I wanted a place where I could study Catholic theology and philosophy. I wanted to be in a place where I could be deepening my understanding of God’s role in reality, rather than merely defendingmy high school-level understanding,” she said.
“One of the huge advantages of a Catholic university is the chance to mature your intellectual understanding of God at the same time that you are maturing other parts of your mind,” Sr. Albert Marie explained. “At Ave Maria, I came to see that reality itself was Catholic. I might not know all the answers, but I knew that I did not need to be afraid to ask any question. God is the source of all reality.”
During college, Sr. Albert Marie built strong friendships and made time for adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. She credits her studies at Ave Maria with drawing her toward the Dominican order and has since taught at two Newman Guide colleges: Ave Maria and the University of St. Thomas in Houston, Tex.
The Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, is a vibrant, growing order in Michigan that recently opened its second convent in Texas. The community has more than 140 sisters with an average age of 32, and their next discernment retreat for young women is being held this November. They are devoted to Eucharistic adoration and Marian devotion, and they wear long white habits. The community, whose apostolate is Catholic education, even started its own publishing company to teach the Truth.
Sr. Albert Marie offers advice for students on how to choose a college, whether or not they are discerning a religious vocation:
“Definitely choose a school which offers the professional formation that you need, but also consider choosing one that will offer you deeper spiritual and intellectual formation. You are more than a future employee,” she says. “Choose a school that will also help you become a better human, a better spouse, more able to appreciate of art and literature, more able to contemplate the face of God. Expanding your heart and mind in this way expands your capacity for joy and for friendship with others and with God.”
Sister echoes what many graduates of Newman Guide colleges have said: “The years in university are a uniquely formative moment in life.”