I came to Maryhurst having just celebrated my fifteenth birthday. As a teenage girl, I was looking forward to what should have been the most exciting years of my life. Yes, I was a troubled teen, but I didn’t think it was that bad; however, as a habitual runaway with a “know it all attitude” I was headed for disaster. It was in the summer of 1957 that I heard my parents say, “We cannot handle her.” I was soon to become a resident of Maryhurst on Bank Street in west Louisville. Spending the next two years at Maryhurst probably saved my life. I do know that the experience had a profound impact on my life. During my time at Maryhurst, I dreamed that someday I would be able to help troubled girls like me.
After “graduating” from Maryhurst, I got married in an attempt to “run” from the problems at home with my parents. That marriage failed after 10 years. Two years later, I met and married by present husband. Things worked much better this time as we are nearing the celebration of 41 years of marriage. While I didn’t act upon my Maryhurst dream of helping troubled girls for many years, the dream never left me. In 1984 we moved to Phoenix, Arizona, and I began volunteering at the Crisis Pregnancy Center. It was there that I first met a young lady who was pregnant and homeless, so I brought her home to live with us. This was the beginning of a ten year ministry where my husband and I became “mom and dad” to 150 girls over the next 10 years. My dream from Maryhurst became a reality. I thank the leadership of Maryhurst and especially the Nuns from Bank Street that taught me so much that I was able to implement in our home in Phoenix.
The intensity of parenting six girls at a time, family issues in the Midwest and age, forced us to abandon the rigors of that life but did not quench my dream. We moved to Nixa, Missouri, where we now live. We are past having a house full of young girls but not past the desire to continue to serve. We have fostered several children from infants to teenagers. I continue to mentor young women and women in crisis. I am currently working as a volunteer case manager assistant for a local shelter for abused women.
Thank you Maryhurst for loving me and for giving me what I really needed at such a critical time in my life.