Meet Sister Marlene Stetz
My parents had a great influence on me in choosing my vocation as a sister. Their faith was very important to them, and they conveyed to me that God has a special calling for everyone. They would say that we all have a place in this world, and it is not the same for everyone. They had a great respect for those who entered religious life. This was evident to me when my aunt, a Franciscan nun, visited us. My parents also said that a person might be called to marriage or the single life. It didn’t matter which way of life you chose as long as you did “what’s for you” as they put it. To me this meant to follow your call.
After I graduated from high school, I attended Mount Marty College in Yankton. Most of my teachers were sisters and I appreciated attending Mass in the beautiful chapel. I began to reflect quite seriously on becoming a sister. I hesitated to talk to anyone about it because I just wasn’t sure this was the life for me. In the spring of my freshmen year of college, I finally spoke to one of the sisters about my thoughts. She suggested I talk to Mother Jerome which I agreed to do.
Mother Jerome invited me to come and gave me an application. I said that I thought maybe I should wait another year. She responded, “What would you want to wait for?” I didn’t make any commitment at that time but I did take the application paper with me. A few days after leaving her office, I made my decision. It was time for me to check out this way of life. I completed the application and was accepted to enter the monastery in the fall.
I am grateful that I have been called to the Benedictine life, and I believe that my place is here at Sacred Heart Monastery. The faithfulness of our sisters is a great source of encouragement for me and I am also strengthened when I recall that people have been guided by the rule of Benedict for over 1500 years. St. Benedict says we follow a rule for beginners. Each day we rise from sleep filled with hope and begin anew. May Christ bring all of us to everlasting life!