2013 Jubilarian – Rose Marie (David Marie) Petranek
Sister Rose Marie Petranek was born in Minnesota, and her parents both died before she was 3 1/2. Her grandmother and a cousin took care of her. When she turned 6, she was sent to Lima, Ohio, to live with an aunt, uncle and cousin.
Her aunt knew her dad had wanted her to go to a high school boarding school. A friend told her aunt about St. Mary Academy in Monroe. Before Sister Rose Marie came to visit the Academy, she told her classmates to pray that she wouldn’t have to go there. After her visit, she asked her classmates to pray she got accepted. “I fell in love with the place. I had never seen a place so grand. Driving up, the Academy looked so large and impressive.”
She loved the IHM Sisters at the Academy, but after graduation, she went home and worked. She came back in October to visit some friends who joined the IHMs, and she knew it was the right place for her. She had to wait until the following summer to join and had a choice to enter Aug. 19, 20 or 21. She opted for the 20th – her birthday.
Sister Rose Marie’s first mission was at Christ the King, Detroit, where she taught first and second grades. She also taught at St. Stephen, Port Huron, St. Joseph, Trenton and St. Timothy, Trenton. When St. Timothy closed in 1970, she taught at St. Mary Academy. She had a degree in music from Marygrove College and went on to complete the required hours of instruction before teaching ninth- and 10th-grade English. An avid reader, Sister Rose Marie’s favorite aspects of teaching English were the required readings and discussions about the literature. She taught at the Academy for nine years.
She then taught English at Marian High School for 11 years. She learned to drive during those years, which became necessary in order to visit, and later care for, the cousin who raised her. When she left Marian, Sister Rose Marie embarked on a year of spiritual renewal. Refreshed and rejuvenated, she returned to Monroe and worked two part-time jobs, in the Congregational Business Office and at St. Mary Center. Living in Monroe allowed her to be closer to her cousin in Ohio, for whom she had power of attorney.
Sister Rose Marie loves celebrating Jubilee anniversaries with the sisters – the music, singing and the full organ as well as seeing all the sisters who come home. She is grateful for the “support of the community.” Her greatest joy has come from “a sense of security being in a group of people who think the same and feel the love of God.” She is comforted by the knowledge that she is doing what God wants her to do.
“Things have happened for a reason throughout my life and have always gotten me right where I need