2015 Jubilarian – Marie (Marie George) Miller
Sister Marie Miller grew up in Detroit, the fifth child of seven. She attended St. Matthew Grade School where she was taught by the IHMs; the Dominican Sisters taught her in high school. She was more attracted to the IHM spirit and joined the community after high school. Her older sister had entered the community two years prior.
Sister Marie initially wrestled with her calling, which she describes as a “restlessness and a call to something greater in scope. Our parents were very religious and God was very important in our lives.” Although her parents would miss her, they felt her calling was a blessing from God.
When she first joined the community, Sister Marie says it was like “learning a new culture,” but she tried to be what the community asked her to be. After five years and completing her bachelor’s degree, she went on her first mission, teaching at St. Charles in Detroit for four years and then to St. Columban in Birmingham, Mich., for three years. She went on to become principal of St. Hugo of the Hills in Bloomfield Hills, Mich. She spent her summers as co-director of Camp Stapleton, a camp for inner-city girls, for six years.
After nine years at St. Hugo, she studied for a year at the Institute for Global Spirituality before teaching at Shrine of the Little Flower in Royal Oak, Mich., for two years. During the summers, she studied at Maryknoll while waiting to minister in Africa. “Maryknoll taught me that each community has a different spirit,” she reflects. Although she enjoyed ministry as a Maryknoll Associate and made many friends, she says, “I came to cherish my own community even more.”
Sister Marie lived in Mombasa, Kenya, for four years. As a member of a diocesan team, she led workshops that focused on adult developmental education, which assessed and improved participants’ living situations. she used scripture to guide the groups that were comprised of many different religions.
She returned to Monroe to minister as the director of novices for four years and then served as pastoral associate at St. Hilary in Redford, Mich., for 27 years, until it closed last year. Currently, she volunteers at Our Lady of Fatima coordinating volunteers who visit the sick and ministers to the homebound from St. Hilary.
Her greatest joy is “living and being with women who care deeply about God and others. That they care deeply about the mission.” Sister Marie is inspired by the way each woman in the community carries out her ministry.
“I am a much richer person because of joining this community,” she notes. “The community has encouraged us to use our gifts.” She is most grateful for the ability of the community to encourage each of the sisters to be “women of prayer but also women who reach out to others.”
What keeps me going is being involved with others and sharing their life experiences.”