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Sister Audrey Williamsen

When Audrey Williamsen was 10 years old, her neighbor left their town of Little Chute, WI, to enter the Racine Dominican community. This was the community of Audrey’s teachers, and she knew that someday she, too, wanted to become a Dominican sister. Her father was less enamored with this dream, however, and her aspiration was put on hold.

After finishing high school, Audrey worked at the Outagamie County Bank in Appleton. She enjoyed her work but held on to the dream of becoming a Racine Dominican. Difficult though it was for him to let her to go, Audrey’s father relented in 1944 and drove his daughter to Racine.

At her reception in 1945, Audrey was given the name Sister Jane Dominic. Her first three years were spent at 1209 Park Avenue. “The old motherhouse was wonderful,” she recalled. “I like the history that was so much a part of it. The funny little cubby holes in all the possible places was ingenious. I loved to wander in the attics and up to the cupola.”

S. Audrey went on to become a teacher and a librarian, earning Bachelor’s degrees from St. Norbert College in De Pere, WI, and the College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, MN, and a Master’s degree from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, MI.

“As a Racine Dominican, I received an education I would never have had otherwise,” she reflected. “I was especially delighted to receive a degree in Library Science so I could minister in the libraries of the schools we served.”

S. Audrey taught and served as librarian in schools around Wisconsin and Michigan for 40 years. In 1986 she joined the staff of St. Catharine College in Kentucky for the next 11 years, a ministry she especially enjoyed.

“As a sister, I am part of the Dominican family,” she said. “I am convinced that nowhere else could I have found acceptance and encouragement to grow and develop as God designs.”