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Then and Now

Sister James Marian Sarchet

Jean Ann Sarchet was born in Detroit during the Great Depression and was baptized at Precious Blood Church. Fred and Ila had son, James Fred, born 10 and a half months before Jean and daughter, Ila Mae, four years after her. They lost their house during the Depression and moved to Southwest Detroit in All Saints Parish where the three children went to All Saints School.

The Sarchets were a musical family. Fred had music stores and a square dance orchestra and Ila gave piano lessons. All three children were taught piano from their mother. Starting in fifth grade, Jean chose to study violin from an IHM music teacher at school. Music was a great part of their lives:  sing-a-longs, family orchestra and square dancing.

Jimmy and Jean did everything together, but Jimmy gradually lost his strength and died at age 14 of cancer. Jean was devastated and developed the speech disorder of stuttering.

Jean loved school and the IHMs who taught her. Math was her favorite subject and she enjoyed helping her classmates with their homework. She knew then that she wanted to be a teacher. After picking up a pamphlet titled, “Teaching for God,” she knew that there was no better way to do this than to be an IHM Sister.

She entered the IHM community after graduating from high school in 1950. She was received in 1951, taking the religious name Sister James Marian: James for her brother and Marian for our Blessed Mother.

Her first assignment was St. Joseph School, Erie, Mich., where she taught third graders. She taught elementary school for 10 years; moved up to junior high for 12 years; and then high school for the remainder of her teaching career, mostly teaching math, science and choral. At the high school level, she taught chemistry, biology and her beloved subject, geometry. She enjoyed teaching and had many winners in science fairs and choral competitions.

In the ’80s she was introduced to the Charismatic Renewal. This type of prayer impressed her and she joined the Light of Revelation Charismatic Prayer Group in Monroe. She played guitar for the meetings for many years. This greatly influenced her prayer life.

After her teaching years she had a sabbatical. She was asked to bring a craft, so she bought a dollhouse kit and made it, plus the furniture during her “enlightenment.”

Following her renewal, she drove for the Motherhouse sisters for more than 25 years. She also tutored students in math, sang and cantored in the Motherhouse choir, played violin in the sisters’ orchestra and was on the Tech Committee, helping sisters with their computer skills. In her woodworking shop, she repaired, made and refinished furniture and made four more dollhouses. She worked on Swedish weaving and adult coloring to round out her artistic talents.

Sister James Marian appreciates all she has received from the IHM congregation and has tried to use her talents to further the Kingdom of God. God be praised!

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