‘Seek justice, Love mercy, Walk humbly with your God’
Sister Mary Therese Krueger professed vows of poverty, chastity and obedience as a Dubuque Sister of the Presentation on Saturday, October 14, in Sacred Heart Chapel in Dubuque, Iowa. In celebration of her commitment, Mary Therese was joined by her immediate family, a small group of friends and sisters from other congregations and her Presentation Sisters and associates.
Scripture from the prophet Micah 6:8 was the theme for Sister Mary Therese’s celebration: Seek justice, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God. Father Ross Epping, of the Diocese of Davenport and college classmate of Mary Therese’s, was the presider at the liturgy.
Reflecting on the meaning of the vows in religious profession, on the call of the prophet Jeremiah and of the Jesus’ disciples, Presentation Sister Elena Hoye shared that “religious life calls us to responsibility, to caring, to non-violence.” After describing each vow and relating their meaning to Sister Mary Therese’s life, Sister Elena assured Sister Mary Therese of the prayers and presence of God and of her various communities. “We pray that you become a zealot,” said Sister Elena, “that you always stand in solidarity with the poor, and the marginalized and that you become a voice for the voiceless, a voice of the voiceless God.”
During the Rite of Profession, members of the Presentation community gave testimony to Sister Mary Therese’s commitment to justice, prayer and community; Congregational Leader Sister Julianne Brockamp examined Sister Mary Therese’s readiness to profess vows; the congregation responded to the Litany of Saints; Sister Mary Therese professed and signed her vows and received a pendant as a symbol of her profession as a Sister of the Presentation.
Currently of Chicago, Illinois, Sister Mary Therese is enrolled in graduate studies at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago and is working as a physical therapist at Advocate Christ Medical Center, Oak Lawn, Illinois.
The third of six daughters of Ann and James Krueger of Villa Park, Illinois, Sister Mary Therese received her early education in Villa Park. She earned a bachelor’s degree in exercise science and doctorate in physical therapy from St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa.
During her year as a canonical novice, Sister Mary Therese volunteered in Dubuque at Opening Doors Ministry, a shelter for homeless women, alone or with children, and at the Presentation Lantern Center, a drop-in center offering hospitality, educational opportunities and advocacy to adult immigrants, especially women.
What most inspired Sister Mary Therese to follow the call to religious life?
“I believe it was the continued journey of my faith through my parents growing up at home, my Catholic education at St. Alexander and my involvement in youth group in high school, campus ministry at St. Ambrose University, and my young adult group after college,” she shares. “I discovered God was calling me to be the best version of myself in a place where I could live a life of service, living in community and supported through communal prayer with the Presentation Sisters.”
She continues, “I first met the Presentation Sisters at St. Ambrose University through Sister Rita Cameron. My senior year, I went with the Presentation Sisters on a service trip to New Orleans, Louisiana, which transformed my life. When I observed the sisters in New Orleans responding to the needs of the people, with love and friendship, I knew my life would never be the same.”