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Sr. Therese Marie Yank, Middle School - Math and Religion Assistant
Email: [email protected]
- License in ESL (English as a Second Language), Math, and Regular Education for grades 1-8
I was born in Wausau, WI, but spent my childhood growing up in Milwaukee. I was homeschooled all the way through high school. Home-schooling gave me lots of time to think and study on my own, and my favorite subject was math, yet I found it a challenge to teach myself with only the textbook. Therefore, already in junior high, I decided I wanted to be a math teacher to help students understand this subject. Once in college, teaching fascinated me even more. Every child thinks and grasps the world around them so differently, and learning is either a wonder or struggle. During this time, I became convinced there are some things even more challenging than mathematics that we need to learn in life – such as the meaning of suffering and faith in God as a loving Father. As I grappled with these questions, the calling to give myself totally to God grew stronger. Sometimes, it might seem impossible to understand God, but then like Mary, we can trustingly surrender ourselves to his plan and calling.
The seed for this calling also began young. My parents were very involved in the Schoenstatt movement, which helped them raise their children in a relationship with Jesus and Mary. The Schoenstatt spirituality helped form our Catholic faith so it was not just for Sundays, but for every day. Through our involvement as a family in Schoenstatt, I experienced that Mary is our Mother who cares for us in a personal way. She wants to draw us closer to God and she forms Christ within us, so that one day, we can all be united in paradise. I wanted to become like our Blessed Mother for others and this is what led me to eventually join the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary, whose mission is to be Mary for the world through working for the moral and spiritual renewal of society. I have been with the community since I joined in 2006.
Within this community of sisters, I have served in multiple ways and places and have been blessed to spend time at our mission house in the Dominican Republic and at our places of origin in Germany, which has expanded my worldview and mission. These two experiences of seeing extreme poverty in one country, and of being given opportunities of privilege in another country have taught me to say with St. Paul: “I know how to live with little, and I know how to live with plenty. In any and all circumstances, I have learned the secret of being well fed and of going hungry, of having plenty, and of being in need. I can do all things in him who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:12-13).
God has blessed me throughout my life and I hope to share those blessings with others. In 2020, I was able to finish my degree in Elementary Education, and I am looking forward to learning together with the staff and students at St. Gabriel’s Parish School what it means to be attentive to God’s calling, to wonder at his ways, and joyfully, as Mary did at the Annunciation, to respond with our yes to his will.
“…for nothing will be impossible for God.” Mary said, “Behold, I am the handmaid of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.”" Luke 1:37
Sr. Therese Marie Yank
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