National Catholic Sisters Week: Sister Mary Elizabeth Schweiger
Sister Mary Elizabeth is a woman of many gifts
As we continue our celebration of National Catholic Sisters Week, we introduce you to Sister Mary Elizabeth Schweiger. Sister Barbara Ann Mayer wrote this profile, which first appeared in the winter 2016 issue of Threshold.
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Sister Mary Elizabeth Schweiger has served in many different ministries in her 50 years of religious life. She has been a teacher, vocation director, pastoral associate, liturgist, sub-prioress of the community, retreat director and spiritual guide.
“My ministry experiences have brought me in contact with people who have enriched my life in many ways,” she said. “They have taught me to love the Church more deeply and inspired me by their commitment and dedication to the gospel.”
She is grateful for her Benedictine vocation. “Living in community has been a gift and has enriched my relationship with God, myself, and others,” Sister Mary Elizabeth said. “Living with dedicated, loving, and challenging women has enabled me to do things I never thought possible. Engaging in a life centered in prayer, hospitality, and service has brought me into the heart of the gospel where I experience deep peace and joy.”
Sister Mary Elizabeth grew up on a farm in Lenexa, Kansas, one of nine children of Theodore and Madeline Schweiger. After graduating from St. Joseph High School in Shawnee, Kan., she entered the Mount community. She received her bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Mount St. Scholastica College. She later earned a master’s degree in theology from St. John’s University in Collegeville, Minn., and a second master’s in Christian Spirituality from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska.
“I enjoy my current ministry at Sophia Center, training men and women to become spiritual directors through the Souljourners program,” she said. “It is a privilege to be a part of their lives and to provide spiritual direction and retreats for a wide variety of people.”
She also enjoys helping to make the wooden comfort crosses that are sold in the monastery gift shop.