Sister Mary Germaine Grojean
“I am indeed going to prepare a place for you … .” (John 14:3)
“On Sept. 24, those of us gathered around Sister Mary Germaine in her room in Mother Theodore Hall were waiting. There was nothing more we could do for her … . But the one whom she had loved through a long and faithful life and who had loved her in return was coming to keep his promise and take her to the home for which her heart so longed,” said Sister Mary Roger Madden in her commentary for Sister Mary Germaine Grojean.
The eldest of seven children of Joseph and Othelia Willman Grojean, Germaine Emma was born Sept. 17, 1915, in New Hamburg, Mo. She attended St. Agnes Grade School, Chicago, and Marywood High School, Evanston, Ill.
“From her early years, Germaine knew that she was called to religious life,” continued Sister Mary Roger. “But as the first born, she also knew that her parents depended upon her as their right hand in the care of the six younger brothers and sisters. Sister Georgiana Terstegge (RIP), who was Germaine’s mentor and advisor, suggested that she remain at home at least until the youngest was ready for school. When Germaine was 25 years old, her mother encouraged her to follow her call, and on Feb. 2, 1941, she entered the Sisters of Providence.”
Sister Mary Germaine professed first and perpetual vows Aug. 15, 1943, and 1949, respectively. She earned a bachelor’s degree in education from Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College.
“Sister Mary Germaine did not immediately go on mission. Instead, she stayed home to fill a need by assisting Sister Cecile Morse in the Print Shop,” said Sister Mary Roger.
The following year, 1944, Sister Mary Germaine began teaching at St. Joseph, Hammond, Ind. Her other Indiana classrooms included St. Philip Neri, Indianapolis, and St. Mary, Richmond. She spent seven years in California, teaching at St. Ambrose, Hollywood, and St. Therese, Los Angeles. Sister Mary Germaine ministered for many years in Chicago at St. Angela, St. Agnes and St. Sylvester. At St. Agnes, she also served as the CCD coordinator.
Retiring from teaching in 1989, Sister Mary Germaine provided convent service in Chicago until she returned to the Woods in 1991. “Sister Mary Germaine was, by nature and by gift, a natural care-giver,” continued Sister Mary Roger. “Her greatest joy was in being able to attend to others who were in need, whether they were struggling students or those in her own family dealing with illness or aging.
“Those of us who lived with Sister Mary Germaine in the novitiate or on mission have many more memories of a gracious lady with a great sense of humor who stood like a rock and could always be counted on to help when needed. Her friendship never stifled you; she cared about you but never sought to control you. She gave you the greatest gift a friend can give — your freedom.”
The Mass of Christian Burial for Sister Mary Germaine was celebrated Sept. 29, with the Rev. Daniel Hopcus presiding. She is survived by one brother, Henry, Orland Park, Ill., and three sisters, Carita Mae Grojean, Orland Park; Frances Klomes, Chicago; and Sister Mary Cecile Grojean, Saint Mary-of-the-Woods. She was preceded in death by a brother and sister.
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