Sr. Mary


My name is Sister Mary Grace and I have been a member of this community since 198I. I am the oldest of twelve children, from a devout Catholic family of the fifties, and I have wanted to be a sister since I was a little girl. I graduated from high school in 1968 and went on to Marygrove College in my home town of Detroit.

All the while I was pondering where to live out my religious calling. I knew the work of the sisters who had taught me and whom I had grown to love, but it seemed to me that I wanted to do more than reach one classroom of students a year.
I left college after two years and joined a monastery in North Carolina in 1970. I was there for seven years, but the monastery eventually had to close. As they were closing, this Carmel of Terre Haute was publishing a booklet that I read, and I knew in my heart that Terre Haute Carmel was the perfect fit for me. It took a few years to recover my balance, but I finally found my true home in this community in 1981, and the fit was right.

When I discovered Carmelite contemplative life, this seemed to be the answer to my desires.  It was a way to give myself completely to God, and then in God, to reach out to everyone in a hidden but effective way.  

St.Therese of Lisieux put it well when she said: "at the heart of my mother, the Church, I will be love.  Thus I will be everything..."

I made my Solemn Profession in 1986. I have worked in many areas of the monastery. Eventually God allowed the artistic talents implanted deep in me to come to daily use, which is a great joy and a great challenge. Especially I have been privileged to enter into the contemplative work of writing icons. But the deepest challenge I experience is to continue to let God transform me and to be open to the new spiritual gifts with which I am constantly presented.


I celebrated my Silver Jubilee in 2006, for which occasion I had the joy of writing the icon of the Transfiguration. My parents and all of my 11 siblings were with me for this joyous occasion and landmark on my Carmelite journey.


The journey continues as the years keep mounting. I am no longer young, but I have some good years left, God willing, to contribute to my beloved community and live out my faithfulness to my vocation. I have no regrets as I look back on what I have done with my life. Carmel is incredibly fulfilling on the deepest level, and to have been a good Carmelite is the best I can hope for when I come before the merciful judgment seat of the Lord.