Home > Siena > It’s Never Too Late

It’s Never Too Late

Sister Mary Kieffer, OP, has a calm, soothing manner that would lead you to believe that she has been a woman religious her entire adult life. But there’s much more to Sr. Mary’s story and life journey.

Sister Mary WEBAs a young adult, Sr. Mary worked as a bartender and bar manager at a variety of restaurants in San Francisco and New York City. Next, she spent nearly a decade working at the Marine Exchange of the San Francisco Bay Region. There, she and her staff managed a 24/7, 365-day information clearinghouse for vessel operations throughout nine port districts. “I loved the different jobs I’d held, but always felt there was a hole in my life,” she says.

Coming home
Religion had always been an important part of Sr. Mary’s life, so in her early 40s, she began researching different sister congregations on the Internet. “I truly felt I’d missed the boat,” she says, “because age limits ranged from the early 20s to around 40.”

While at church one day, she saw a flyer for the Sisters of San Rafael’s Come & See Day. She considered attending, but it wasn’t until a Sister handed her the same flyer a few days later that she decided to go. “I thought, ‘Just go, find out you’re too old, then get on with your life,’” she says.

She did attend. And toward the end of the day, she sat on the grounds reflecting and looking at the stained glass windows of the church. One of the Sisters approached and asked what she thought. “I told her that I felt as though I had come home,” says Sr. Mary.

In 2000, at the age of 47, Sr. Mary joined the Dominican Sisters of San Rafael. The Dominican Order, also known as the Order of Preachers, live their lives supported by four common values. They’re often referred to as the Four Pillars: community life, prayer, study, and ministry. “The congregation drew me to them because they are contemplative and apostolic, meaning they spend time in prayer yet they are also active in ministry,” she says.

As she looks back, Sr. Mary believes the people she met while working at her various jobs in San Francisco, many of whom lost their lives to AIDS, got her headed toward her spiritual vocation. “Visiting these friends in the hospital and assuring them of God’s love began paving my way.”

Sister Mary Kieffer, OP, vice president of mission integration, joined the St. Rose Dominican family in 2013. “The commitment and passion I saw in the staff to furthering the healing mission of Jesus, especially for our brothers and sisters in the community who are underserved, drew me to St. Rose,” says Sr. Mary.

Advertisements
  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: