West Midwest

Mary Gertrude Keefe, RSM


Entered: January 20, 1950

Current Ministry: Ministry of Prayer and Presence and volunteer

Motto: For Jesus Only

Our God is a loving, merciful, and faithful God who loves, guides and graces me every moment of my life with blessings and surprises. These gifts were given to me at my birth through the goodness of parents, siblings, Sisters of Mercy, students and all whose lives have touched me. Through you, I have become more compassionate and kind.

I praise and thank God for allowing me to bring little children to Him through His grace, teaching and guidance for 29 years.  Those years were my delight.  Teaching the “little ones” taught me how to be more joyous, forgiving, mischievous, diligent and more alive!  They were great years!

I left teaching in 1980 to become a Chaplain in hospitals and hospice care.  As a Chaplain I ministered to the sick, dying, handicapped  or any others in physical or emotional pain that needed assistance,. They were attended to and proper assistance was requested. Prayer and pastoral care was obtained when desired.

It is a glorious life, yes, whether on the mountain top, in the valley or in between. God’s graces never failed. God first loved us, therefore I shared His love with all I met.  The Corporal and Spiritual Works of Mercy (Mt. 5:3-10), Catherine McAuley, my motto and vows gave purpose and meaning to all I did and do.

In 2016 I began to “let go” of the hustle and bustle of full time ministry and entered into retirement to make room for something NEW.  Not so simple!  What do I do now?  With assistance from a friend, Jean Sassatelli, I learned I needed to refocus – “focus on Being as a Sister of Mercy rather than Doing.”  (words of Sister Anita Bidding, RSM).  In changing the focus, I moved into the interior life – something NEW, the true meaning and purpose of my life.  Easy? – for from it frustration and tears, the process of becoming ‘New.’

Mercy life is an active and contemplative community. Now in retirement I can focus on contemplation and draw closer to Jesus, my spouse. I recall on reception day as we were prostrated before the altar I prayed; “My God I am yours forever.” Seventy years have passed and God, community, family, and friends all continue to support and encourage me. My heart sings with joy in remembering all God has done for me.

I have experienced glorious joys, blessings and graces from our God. I give praise, thanks, and a heart filled with gratitude for all He has done for me and His peoples. Thank you, Sisters, for making my life as a Sister of Mercy all that it has been and continues to be.
Rejoice and be glad and celebrate!


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