Sister Mary (Catherine Ann) Vaculik
What first drew you to the Racine Dominican community?
I always wanted to be a sister. I had two cousins who were Notre Dame Sisters, and Racine Dominicans were my teachers at St. Rita’s in Racine. After eighth grade, I joined the Dominicans, and that’s when I first met my second cousin, S. Bertrand.
What has kept you in the community all these years?
My various ministries, all of which I have enjoyed. I taught in Wisconsin and Michigan, was a religious education director at Sacred Heart Parish in Milwaukee and other parishes, and was a patient advocate for advanced care at St. Francis Hospital in Milwaukee.
What is one particularly cherished memory of your years in ministry?
I loved working with the parish and school staff along with the families at Sacred Heart because the parish was so alive with the spirit of Vatican II. A particular cherished memory also resulted from an informal connection made through a friend in the Baha’i faith community. I was introduced to Tom, who had been a Franciscan priest before converting to Baha’i. Shortly after I met him, Tom called and asked if I would visit. He was very ill, told me he prayed the rosary each day, and said he needed to be assured of God’s forgiveness. The man with whom he lived did not want him to associate with Catholics, so my visits had to be short and only when his partner was gone. Tom died shortly thereafter, and I’ve always felt honored that he invited me into his spiritual journey in those final days.
What is one thing people today should know about the Racine Dominicans?
We are passionate vowed religious women and associates committed to the gospel values of truth, justice and peace. With our individual gifts, we serve others, especially the poor. We are compassionate Dominicans in the care for Earth and in working for holy justice in building God’s kingdom.
What do you enjoy doing at this time of your life?
Listening to classical music, going to the theatre, playing cards and board games, walking, visiting the elderly, and watching baseball.