2014 Jubilarian – Marita-Constance Supan
Sister Connie’s ministerial life began as a seventh-grade teacher in Arlington, Va. She served at schools in Virginia Beach; Trenton, N.J.; Philadelphia; and Savannah before becoming an immigration counselor for Catholic Social Services in Philadelphia and later, as a spirituality/prayer minister.
“As a Philadelphia IHM, I enjoyed teaching religious education (and quite a few other subjects) to elementary, junior high and high school students,” Sister Connie says. “I also had the privilege of exploring our faith and prayer life with adults and catechists.”
In 1985, she transferred from Philadelphia to the Monroe IHM community and was incorporated in 1989. She served as campus minister at Macomb Community College before ministering at St. Joseph Parish in Monroe as the director of religious education.
“I was touched by the vibrancy and warmth [at St. Joseph],” she notes. “I believe that the good news of God’s love for us is the most exciting news around, and I looked forward to sharing that news.”
After two years at St. Joseph, Sister Connie spent three years in adult education at the Monroe County Jail before becoming the executive director at the Women’s and Children’s Sanctuary in Detroit.
She returned to school and earned her PsyS (Specialist degree in Psychology) from the Center for Humanistic Studies in Detroit and continued her studies through the Union Institute in Cincinnati where she earned a PhD in clinical psychology.
She did her counseling internship at Gateway Counseling Center and served as a therapist at Gateway for 12 years. Sister Connie was instrumental in securing grant money for a “therapeutic skills for mothers” program. Designed for mothers coping with multiple stressors and whose children were already receiving play therapy at Gateway, the program provided individualized parenting skills and support. During these years, she also created a one-woman show, which brought IHM co-founder Mother Theresa Maxis vividly to life.
Sister Connie now ministers as a writer and as a neighborhood volunteer.