2019 Jubilarian – Marylyn (Peter Faber) Russ

Sister Marylyn Russ was born in Cleveland, the oldest of three children of Mary and Joseph Russ. Her brother, Peter, and her sister, Joan Marie, filled in the family circle.

She attended St. Jerome Elementary School through the eighth grade. She then attended Villa Angela Academy High School, where she was taught by the Ursuline Sisters. After graduating from high school, Sister Marylyn worked at General Electric and attended John Carroll University night school, majoring in physics and math. Before graduating, she recognized her religious vocation and went about looking for a community that met her desires. She chose the IHMs during a retreat because of their devotion to Mary and the happiness expressed in their pictures.

Sister Marylyn came to Monroe by train and was surprised by the expansive fields … and no station. When she arrived at the Motherhouse for her interview, the whole community was in quiet retreat. Once she joined the IHM Sisters, she was delighted just to survive her homesickness. During formation, she worked on a book about the changes in liturgy, which was later published under the title Children of the Church.

Like most IHMs, Sister Marylyn became a teacher; eventually, she had taught at every grade level, all in Michigan. She began at St. John in Monroe before moving on to St. Mary in Marshall and then St. Thomas Aquinas in Detroit. For 11 years, she taught math, physics and data at Holy Redeemer High School in Detroit and then taught math and science at Gabriel Richard High School in Riverview for another six years.

She spent a year teaching math at St. Mary Catholic Central High School in Monroe. She ministered as treasurer for the IHM Southeast Province, where she stayed for nine years. Sister Marylyn also taught math at Monroe County Community College before going to work in the business office at Marygrove College. While at Marygrove, she also taught at Henry Ford Community College. After 10 years in the business office, she became an instructor/assistant professor of math at Marygrove. She retired after teaching for 10 years at the college.

Sister Marylyn’s greatest joy since joining the community has been the opportunity to attend retreats, workshops and classes in spirituality. “My prayer life is important to me,” she says. Her prayers are the center of her life and deepen her relationship with God. “My relationship with God is at the top and means everything. God is my beloved and I am God’s.”

She is grateful for the community giving her the life she led. “I am fortunate!” Sister Marylyn notes. She appreciates that the community cares for all her needs.