Meet Sister Therese Marie Schreck
I am Sr. Therese Marie a native of Ludington, Michigan. I have one older brother. I was educated in the public school system, and
received my bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from Michigan State University. My first teaching position was in the Catholic school in my hometown. It was there that the Sister principal asked me if I ever thought about being a Sister. My answer was “No!” After three years, I returned to Michigan State University for another year to complete my master’s degree in Reading Instruction. I then taught for two years at the Catholic school in East Lansing, Michigan, before entering the convent in 1977.
My mother was a faithful Catholic and raised my brother and me in the Catholic Faith. Sunday Mass, confession every two weeks, daily morning and night prayer, catechism classes on a weekly basis (taught by nuns) was the rule of life for us. My dad converted to the faith when I was about 10 years old. Dad would occasionally attend Mass with the family, but did not attend any other church. He never hindered mom or us in the practice of the faith. He even made sure when we went on family vacations, to stop on Saturday night in a town that had a Catholic Church so we could attend Sunday Mass.
As a high school student and a college student, I loved being around the church. At college, I spent a lot of time at the Catholic student center, attended daily Mass, served as sacristan, and answered the telephone in the office in the evenings. I used to say, “If you can’t find me in the dorm, try the Catholic student center!” I wasn’t interested in worldly pursuits; I felt comfortable with people and tasks related to the Lord.
While teaching in East Lansing, I was also involved in some sacristan work, and taught CCD classes at the parish. During 40 Hours Devotion, I would spend a lot of time with the Lord. I finally made my first weekend retreat. The priest told me to “Stop sitting on the fence, and make up my mind!” when I talked to him about the possibility of a religious vocation. Since I was then 27 years old, I figured he was right! I believe it was the time I spent before the Blessed Sacrament, as well as the Holy Mass, weekly confession, and rosary that allowed my heart to be opened to hear the voice of Jesus calling me to religious life. The call had been there all along – I just never heard Him! As I walked by a convent on my way to school each morning, the thought came to me, “I want to live under the same roof with our Eucharistic Lord!” I then realized I had to enter the convent in order for that to happen! In about a year and a half from that time, I entered the convent as a postulant.
I was invested with the habit as a novice in 1978, and made Temporary Vows in 1980. On August 4, 1985 I made Perpetual Profession of Vows. In 1987, I completed 30 hours of classes at Xavier University in Cincinnati for Elementary Administration. After teaching for 27 years, and principal for 2 years, I was assigned as Postulant/Novice directress for our community.
My hunger and thirst for God in those early years of public school education, climaxed when I sought to teach in a Catholic school because I wanted to teach children about God and the Catholic Faith, even though my dad thought I should teach in a public school so I could earn more money. But that was not important to me. And finally, with entrance into religious life, I found my thirst for God quenched, yet hungering for more. The Hound of Heaven led me to the place He wanted me to be – safe and secure in His arms.