2014 Jubilarian – Mary (Mary Immaculate) McDevitt
Her religious formation started in grade school and she participated in social service activities with the poor and sick in her neighborhood. But it was something one of her teachers said to her in 11th grade that made her realize a religious vocation was right for her. “The teacher said, ‘Don’t ever love anything so much that you can’t let it go if God asks.’” Sister Mary wanted to do “something big.” The IHM Sisters, “were very joyful, and they were very professional,” so becoming an IHM was the obvious decision.
“If someone asked me, ‘What’s the best gift you’ve had?’ it was that I was able to study at many levels,” Sister Mary notes. “It was a wonderful education.” She found time to have fun during her studies as a novice and recalls singing in a quartet with three other novices. They called themselves “The All Wet Quartet,” and their music made people laugh.
She earned her master’s degree in theology from Marquette University. After teaching theology at the high school and college levels for about six years, Sister Mary became director of novices. This was followed by ministry at the newly opened Visitation House of Prayer on the Motherhouse campus. During that time, she retraced the steps of the founders of the IHM community, visiting the home of St. Alphonsus and the hometown of Theresa of Avila among other sites. This trip gave her a better understanding of the foundation of the community, which enhanced her ability to minister; she became a certified spiritual director and earned her Doctor of Ministry degree from Regis College in Toronto.
Sister Mary’s years at Visitation were followed by three years serving as provincial for the Northeast Province and then ministering within the Archdiocese of Detroit and Colombiere Center. She ministered in Aurora, Ont., as a spiritual director at Southdown, an addiction recovery center. She moved to Toronto to become the director of pastoral spiritual formation at Catholic Children’s Aid Society and then taught at Saints Cyril & Methodius Seminary in Orchard Lake, Mich. She now ministers at Visitation North as a spiritual director and works on her many writing projects.
Sister Mary reflects on her time with the community and feels her greatest joy has been “the Jubilee days, just to realize the beauty of that commitment. And also to realize from inside myself that the best we can remain is faithful. And it’s not always perfect and I can celebrate that too.”
She is most grateful for her wonderful educational foundation from first grade through college. “I had such wonderful women teachers. And for that I am very, very grateful to be part of the community.”