Of the 10 Children Joe and Louise Sobieck raised in Sauk Rapids, Minn., Sister Mary Jo was their youngest. Brothers Greg, Tim, Willie, Bob, and Charlie, and sisters Tina, Paula, Geri, and Meg have each lived an itinerant lifestyle all their own before returning to make a home among family and friends. Only Sister Mary Jo, a member of the Dominican Sisters of Springfield in Illinois since 1993, continues to travel from place to place to make a home among those she serves.
At this moment, Sister Mary Jo is studying Spanish language and cultures in Tucson, marking a new turn in her journey of service to God’s people. She earned a master of theology in systematic theology from St. John’s University, Collegeville in 2007 and from then until 2020 taught theology at Marian Catholic High School. Before theological studies she taught elementary education at Holy Angels, Aurora, Ill., 1996-1999, and at Holy Rosary School, Duluth, Minn., 1999-2006
Sister Mary Jo experienced an unexpected international fame when she threw a perfect first pitch at a White Sox game in Chicago on Aug. 18, 2018 as part of Marian Catholic’s 60th anniversary celebration.
Now in the 25th anniversary of her profession of vows, she’s reflected on the gift of her vocation. “It’s quite simple, really; I’m living what I learned. It began with my parents’ example of prayer and a positive perspective on life that trusted in God’s power to prevail to make all things well, no matter what. It continued with my 9 older brothers and sisters who, unbeknownst to them, modeled for me what servant leadership was all about.”
“The call to a life of service as a religious sister then wasn’t anything out of the ordinary. To give my life completely to God affirmed what had already been encouraged in me as a youngster: don’t wait to be asked, if you see something that needs doing, do it… always with a generous heart, a joyful spirit, and the good intention to contribute to the common good. This was, is, and forever will be the ground of my becoming the person God created me to be for the life of the world!”
“My greatest joy comes from the relationships I’ve built with students and their families, community members, and other consecrated women and men, and those with whom I’ve crossed paths on this journey of life and love. Our mutual sharing, humble acceptance, and surrender to God has strengthened my commitment and helped me to grow in ways beyond my imagination. I’ve been blessed beyond.”
She likes to encourage others in discerning a vocation to consecrated life by suggesting “If you feel the call to give of yourself to God and God’s people, it’s because you have gifts our world needs. Take it seriously and pray for the grace to hear and respond with openness and trust. There is something meant only for YOU to be and do. Don’t underestimate the activity of God’s Spirit working in and through you to make the difference we’ve all been waiting for. The Church needs you! The world needs you! I need you! It’s a great adventure… one that won’t change you as much as it will reveal you; and oh what joy you’ll find. Come on, let’s go! :)”
Congratulations Sister Mary Jo!