Episode Four:
“Responding to “the ache”

In which Sister Mary Paul allows a need to change the course of her life

“I had an opportunity to become a clinical psychologist,” says Sister Mary Paul McCaughey. “I was really almost ready to make that jump, when I was called to become a principal of another high school.”

In fact, she had completed all her doctoral studies coursework and was about to begin her dissertation and an internship.

Sister Mary Paul had recently completed a six-year stint in Springfield, Ill., shepherding the restructuring of two schools— Sacred Heart Academy and Griffin High School—into Sacred Heart-Griffin. She admits to thinking, at first, that she really didn’t want to go back to high school administration after the challenges of the merger. “It was right for the kids and right for the community,” she remembers. It was also a stressful time.

 “But then I got thinking…”

I could see 40 clients a week and I could help families. But [in education] I could change structures. Education really touches people at so many levels of their lives—those anxious parents…those precious children…that we have every day, sometimes longer than their parents have them. “

Her yes to this change of plans launched her on a 16-year journey at the helm of Marian Catholic High School in Chicago Heights. During that tenure the school doubled in size, but Sister Mary Paul says her happiest legacy was the endowment for scholarships she established.

“This is where it’s at.”

“I decided to stick with it and I’m glad I did. Even now, as a full-time teacher of graduate students in educational leadership at DePaul, I think, yeah, this is still where it’s at.”

There may be no one more appreciative of Sister Mary Paul’s change of direction than the one who inherited her legacy, Vince Krydynski, the current president of Marian Catholic. “Sister Mary Paul was a strong, visionary leader with the ability to listen to a variety of opinions and take appropriate action,” Vince says. “She had a sense of calm about her and a steady hand in leadership.

Like Sister Mary Paul, some of our sisters have responded to the desire to meet the needs of God’s mission in Catholic institutions. Others do so through service on the margins of church and society. Either way, each sister has made some sacrifice to respond to what Sister Mary Paul recognized as a teenager as “the ache.”

Where do you hurt?

Catholic sisters are not alone in our recognition of the pain in our society. You know it, too, or you wouldn’t be reading this now.

Where do you hurt? And how are you responding to the ache?

Humbly grateful

Can you see your way clear to making a gift to the Dominican Sisters of Springfield as one way of responding to the aching needs of our world today?

You can make a gift here today or if you prefer, send a check payable to Dominican Sisters of Springfield to 1237 W. Monroe St., Springfield, IL 2704.

For more information about how to join the mission alongside our sisters, call Sister Kathleen Anne Tait at 217-787-0481.

We are humbly grateful for your support.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Dominican Sisters of Springfield, Illinois logo
Scroll to Top