2013 Jubilarian – Theresa (John Christopher) Fix
Sister Theresa Fix grew up in Monroe on a farm with her parents, grandmother, and three siblings. She attended St. Mary School and then graduated from St. Mary Academy, joining the IHMs immediately after high school.
Her first mission was St. Mary in Wayne, Mich., teaching elementary school then becoming their first religious education director. After seven years in Wayne, she returned to teaching elementary school at Our Lady Queen of Hope in Detroit.
Sister Theresa enjoyed the schools, but her heart was in religious education. In 1977, she went to St. Mary, Downers Grove, Ill., to become the coordinator of religious education for grades one through eight.
She loved teaching scripture, making what was written relevant to her students. She also taught Bible study groups for adults.
Beginning in 1983, Sister Theresa worked extensively with the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA). She involved many parishioners to help with the process, devising lesson plans on various essential topics and training teams for each stage of the process.
Sister Theresa realized she had a product that could assist other parishes in implementing the RCIA. She packaged the RCIA session outlines she had already developed and made short videos for the theological content of the program. In 1989, she and her business partner, Sandra Morgan, incorporated Sandalstrap Technologies, Inc., with the following mission statement: “As a ministry and a business, our mission is to produce materials that are rooted in God’s message of love, goodness, and peace and are a catalyst for spiritual growth, faith sharing, and community-building.”
What began with a series of session outlines and videos soon expanded to other offerings, including cards, small wooden crosses, ribbons for children and adults, meditation mementos, and more. Sister Theresa attends many national and regional conferences each year, selling and advertising Sandalstrap’s products.
Sister Theresa’s entrepreneurial and creative skills continued as she and her business partner saw the need for safe, age-appropriate educational sites for children. In 2006, they started www.fact4me.com, a research website for elementary school children. The website appeals to teachers and parents as well as children. “Parents like it because it’s safe,” Sister Theresa says. “With many other sites, children can find themselves on inappropriate pages through an innocent click of the mouse.” Sister Theresa and her business partner exhibit at many technology education conference each year.
Along with her website ministries, Sister Theresa has many interests. She loves the travel that Sandalstrap and Facts4me afford her. In addition, she enjoys mystery novels and sports. She plays golf, making a hole-in-one in 2011, and she enjoys playing basketball with her senior team. This summer, her team will play in the National Senior Games in Cleveland, her third appearance at the National Games.
As Sister Theresa reminisces about her life as part of the IHM community, she is grateful to be in the company of many amazing, talented and generous women.