Sister Mary Jean was born May 26, 1929, in Oconto, to Charles and Viola Marek Gauthier. She is the youngest of five daughters. She has a twin sister, and she has always thought this was very special.
She remarks, "I have so many beautiful memories of growing up with my family on our farm. I have always had an appreciation of the beauty of God's love in creation. To be close to nature is a way of being close to God. We didn't have a lot of material things, but we had a lot of love."
One day while she was praying, her pastor, Monsignor Julius Looze, asked her if she had ever thought of being a sister. He asked her to go to Bay Settlement to visit the Sisters there. After several months had passed, she did visit the Sisters, and came home with an application. Monsignor Looze had told her he wanted to see her in the convent before he died. She entered September 7, 1953, and Monsignor died September 26, 1953. She remembers, "I knew he prayed for me and I have always been grateful."
She has spent her religious life as a homemaker, working in home health care, doing missionary work, and serving in Community service. One of her favorite assignments was at the Sisters' Indian mission in Tache, British Columbia, Canada. "This ministry was a very important time in my life. It was like being in a small village. Each of us fit into their lives in some way. I was able to use gifts there I had not used at home. But I felt I received much more than I could give. They were and are precious people."
She has kept in touch with some of her friends there for more than 30 years. They often write in their letters, "We wish you could come back to be with us."
She states, "I was blessed, too, in my years of working in home health care. I have met many beautiful people. I still keep in touch with some of the families of those I cared for. They were always very supportive, and appreciated all I had done for their loved ones. I made many friends during those years."
Sister Mary Jean goes on to say, "Living at the Motherhouse for many years, I have been blessed to know our dear Sisters here and minister to them in many ways. I am grateful for the many ways they have touched my life."
She enjoys family gatherings especially when she gets to know her nieces and nephews. "I am blessed to be a part of both families -- my own, and my Sisters."
Commenting on her spiritual life, Sister Mary Jean says, "Prayer is a very important part of my life. We are blessed with daily Mass in our Chapel and with the presence of the Blessed Sacrament. I am deeply grateful for these tremendous gifts and for time spent in prayer. We can deepen our relationship with our Lord, and pray for our families, Sisters, and friends, especially for the many prayer requests we receive daily. I feel I have had a very full life. God has blessed me in so many ways!"