Sister Mary Ann Weyker (Robert)
The example of her Racine Dominican teachers in Lake Church, WI, had a strong impact upon Mary Ann Weyker. She knew she wanted to grow up to be a teacher, and witnessing the kind and friendly sisters, she figured that was the path for her. “They were so human. They’d come to our farm and climb fences to visit the animals,” she recalled. “They were wonderful women, and I wanted to open up the gates of knowledge to children, like the sisters who taught me had done.”
Indeed, Mary Ann did grow up to become a teacher and a sister – Sister Robert. For many years she taught first grade, before adding the role of principal to her teaching responsibilities. “I loved teaching, and I had supportive, wonderful principals who allowed me to be creative in finding the most effective methods to teach each child,” she said. “When I became a principal, I had a tremendous faculty and gave them freedom to develop their own styles as well.”
When a severe back injury forced S. Mary Ann to give up teaching and channel her gifts elsewhere, she set up centralized banking for the community. She produced a model that still serves as the basis for our current procedures, and she wrote a manual and created a training system that other communities converting to centralized banking asked to use.
In her various roles, including her work with the Eco-Justice Center in recent years, S. Mary Ann has appreciated being able to serve others as part of a community. “You can’t do it as an individual,” she reflected. “Where one sister is, we all are. I think of our sisters on mission in areas by themselves, but they are not alone. We support one another in all our ministries.”
S. Mary Ann also appreciates the wonderful experiences and education she has received as a Racine Dominican. “It’s been better than I ever could have imagined!”