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Feature Articles

Continuing to Serve: S. Mary Alice Stein
By AJ Keith, Communications intern

Rody
S. Mary Alice Stein primarily volunteers at the Front Desk of the Mount St. Joseph Motherhouse.

S. Mary Alice Stein’s volunteer ministries can be described in one word: responsive. Wherever there is a need or a role that needs to be fulfilled, S. Mary Alice finds a way to be present to those around her by serving at the Front Desk and visiting fellow Sisters in Mother Margaret Hall. Through this service, S. Mary Alice has proved that a few hours at a desk can be used to serve the needs of others and can inspire people to serve beyond what is asked of them.

Sister retired in 2010 after a ministry in education, where she taught English at Carroll High School (Dayton, Ohio) for more than 40 years and directed the school’s musicals. As an educator, she found English and literature to be a unifying subject that connected her with her students, just as theater connected the audience with its performers. She discovered that being a teacher and a director allowed people, including herself, to be fully present. Being present, she believes, is akin to recognizing God’s presence in your own life, which emphasizes the importance of each moment in life however mundane it may seem at the time. This inspired her to pursue volunteer activities where she could be there for others and help wherever needed, a call which she answered
through her work at the Front Desk. “At the Front Desk, your job is to sit there, sign people in and greet people,” she explains. “I love seeing the Sisters come in and greeting the priests who are coming in to say Mass.”

S. Mary Alice found that her faith has been cultivated by the relationships that her service allows her to take part in because she finds God’s presence in the company of others. While it isn’t officially part of her volunteer ministry, she also spends some of her free time visiting her Sisters who are now living in Mother Margaret Hall nursing facility. This offers yet another opportunity for her to share her compassion with others and teach people to cherish the relationships that can be built.

By responding to the needs of others at the Front Desk, S. Mary Alice finds her service to be an enriching experience for her faith. Whether smiling at an invited guest or visiting Sisters on her own time, S. Mary Alice brings a sense of belonging to all she encounters. She hopes that the service she provides for the Sisters can repay them for the lifetime of happiness that she was able to find during her ministries.