Miracle on the Lake: A heart-racing story of near-tragedy for Dominican Sisters of Springfield

Podcast highlights impact of women religious for Catholic Sisters Week March 8-15. Available here March 8.

Springfield, Ill.—A heart-racing story about a near-tragedy that befell ten Springfield Dominican Sisters in 1972 is the centerpiece of the congregation’s Catholic Sisters Week observances this year.

Two Springfield Dominicans, Sister Margaret Grueter and Sister Marie Michelle Hackett, share an intimate conversation about their recollections of October 7, 1972, when a relaxing holiday in the Boundary Waters of Minnesota nearly ended in disaster. Their story, Miracle on the Lake, is produced as a special episode of F.L.O.W.cast, the Dominican Sisters’ podcast. It is available to stream free on YouTube @flowcastlisten3327, at flowcastlisten.org, or wherever you get your podcasts, beginning March 8, 2024. You will also find it linked at springfieldop.org/csw.

Each of the sisters is celebrating a milestone profession anniversary this year. Sister Margaret made her profession of vows 75 years ago. Sister Marie Michelle is marking the 60th anniversary of her profession.

“There is so much to take away from the story Sister Margaret and Sister Marie Michelle tell in this special F.L.O.W.cast episode,” said Sister Beth Murphy, director of communications for the Dominican Sisters and F.L.O.W.cast producer. “They share a story of human resilience, kindness, and self-sacrifice; the fragility of life, the power of prayer, and our dependence on God; the joy of consecrated religious life, and the bonds of communion that draw Catholic Sisters together with one another and all of creation.”

Sister Margaret’s and Sister Marie Michelle’s conversation is interspersed with a reading of a letter written by Sister M. Pauletta Overbeck shortly after the incident. In the days before instant communication, it was written to inform all the Dominican Sisters of Springfield what transpired on White Iron Lake that day, which happened to be the Feast of the Holy Rosary. Sister Adele Human gives voice to the words of Sister M. Pauletta, who was, among all the sisters, most in danger that day. She lived a long life, passing away in 2018, at the age of 103.

Catholic Sisters Week is held annually, March 8-15, to spotlight the contributions of Catholic Sisters, who may go about their ministry quietly, but whose work has a transformative impact on the lives of people

“They share a story of human resilience, kindness, and self-sacrifice; the fragility of life, the power of prayer, and our dependence on God"

from every walk of life around the world. In addition to Sisters Margaret and Marie Michelle, eight other Springfield Dominican Sisters are observing profession anniversaries this year.

Sister Norma Somers and Gabriella Luebbers will celebrate their 75th profession anniversary along with Sister Margaret Grueter. Accompanying Sister Marie Michelle as 60th anniversary celebrants are Sisters Rita Marie Range, M. Santina DeLuca, Patricia Burke, and Karen Marie Kvidera. Sisters Kathleen Anne Tait and Maira Berry are celebrating their 50th profession anniversary.

The stories of all the jubilarians will be shared throughout Catholic Sisters Week on Springfield Dominican social media sites, searchable @springfieldop, and on their website.

The Springfield Dominican Sisters are part of a global network of Dominicans, formally called the Order of Preachers, founded by St. Dominic de Guzman in the thirteenth century to proclaim the truth of God’s compassion and love to the world. To learn more about the many ways you can join the Dominican mission visit springfieldop.org/dominican-mission/.

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