2014 Jubilarian – Madeleine Sophie Weber
After finishing graduate school, she began praying about her next move in life; she had anticipated getting married and having a family. “But the Lord said, ‘Wait a minute!’” So Sister Madeleine took a step back and waited to see what God wanted. A very good priest friend of the family suggested she look at the IHM community. “I told God I would try it.”
Day by day, God gave her the grace to get through the discernment to join the community. Her first mission was at St. Michael in Monroe. From there she went to Christ the King in Detroit and taught for a year, followed by teaching assignments at St. Mary, Mount Morris, Mich., and then St. Philip High School in Battle Creek, Mich. Afterward, Sister Madeleine went to teach at the fairly new Immaculate Heart of Mary High School in Westchester, Ill. While she was there, she started a guidance counseling program. She stayed in Westchester until she was asked to go to Austin, Texas, to begin the psychology major program at Maryhill College at St. Edward’s University.
Sister Madeleine realized that psychology was more than research, experimentation and teaching, so she set out to get her students involved in the community. She initiated a community service internship program for students to provide help to those in need in the area. She also helped start the gerontology program at St. Edward’s.
“It’s God’s planning and our Blessed Mother’s that I am able to do the things I’ve been able to do. They’ve done things through me. It’s the work of God not my work,” Sister Madeleine emphasizes. In her “retirement,” Sister Madeleine volunteers with South Austin Caregivers, which helps older adults be able to stay in their own homes. She also works with the Commission on Aging in Austin Diocese. Not only does she work with individuals on remaining independent, but she also educates the community on the services available through the commission. She enjoys talking to people of different faiths and says, “Evangelizing is important.”
Sister Madeleine’s greatest joy since joining the community has been, “just being in it. Diversity. God’s graces to get me through one day at a time.” She is most grateful for “being with an identity. You cannot take life for granted. The Sacred Heart of Jesus and our Blessed Mother are very important in my life. They are my reason for being. It was their idea that I become an IHM, not mine.”