Audra Turnbull, IHM, professed final vows with the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, on May 21, 2023. The ceremony took place during the morning liturgy at Saints Peter and Paul Jesuit Church in downtown Detroit. An intimate reception was held immediately following liturgy at the University of Detroit Law School. An additional celebration was held at the IHM Senior Living Community on Monday for the Sisters who were not able to attend in person.
Sister Audra grew up in Monroe City, Mo. She attended elementary school at Holy Rosary Catholic School, where she first thought about religious life. “I felt like a spotlight was on me every time we prayed for religious vocations, but I never seriously considered it until college,” she recalls. She attended Monroe City R-1 High School. During the summers, she attended Catholic Heart Work Camp, a week-long mission trip to different cities around the country where teens do service projects for the poor. “That’s where I really feel in love with serving the poor,” says Sister Audra.
After high school, Sister Audra attended Quincy University, a small Franciscan college in Quincy, Ill. She loved her time at Quincy, where she majored in communications with a concentration in broadcasting. It was during this time that she found the IHM Sisters while googling nuns.
“I found A Nun’s Ministry,” she notes. “It was founded by IHMs and I was invited to the IHM Motherhouse during my sophomore year in college. The rest is history.”
In 2013, she served at another IHM ministry, Compassionate Companions/Monroe County Guardians, advocating for those with physical and mental disabilities; she will continue in this ministry.
As for the future of religious life, Sister Audra is optimistic. “It’s going to be smaller for sure but it’s an exciting time to be in religious life. There’s so much changing and we’re really able to be in solidarity with our sisters and brothers on the margins.”