Sister Maryanne Beeler


Sister Maryanne Beeler (pictured with Sister Hilda Maria Reynoso)

I told myself that I was going to stay for a minimum of one year in order to get a clear picture of how my life would be. Looking back, I’m glad I made this promise to myself because I don’t think I would have made it past the first month any other way. I started missing my home and my independence immediately.

There were times when I had questions about the culture and if I truly fit in. The openness among the sisters was such a blessing because we could share with each other our needs and emotions. I grew to love the life and made my first vows in 1989. I was transferred to Sun Valley, in the San Fernando Valley after my vows, staying six years in the Los Angeles area. As a novice, I had the opportunity to meet Mother Teresa of Calcutta. That same year, our Holy Father John Paul II came to Los Angeles and I attended his Mass with over 100,000 people. I really felt the family of the church in those precious moments.

In Sun Valley, I taught Third Grade at a time when the Rodney King riots ripped apart so much of Southern California. Even our students got caught up in gangs. After a drive-by shooting, I saw a child die at my feet. In spite of the tragedies, I continued to love teaching and, was so happy and proud when I was asked to become the principal of John Paul II School in Sacramento. Then my life changed. The day after Thanksgiving, I was blessed with an auto accident. I say blessed because it was while I was in the hospital that doctors discovered a tumor in my left lung. After surgery and chemotherapy, I was given a one percent chance of living five years. I prayed and said to God “Well, whatever you say…”

As the school year ended, I learned that the cancer had spread to my brain. Once again I told God that it was in His hands. During this time I never prayed for myself, I just asked God to let me last longer for my 91-year- old dad. He had already lost two sons. My father died in January 2010.

I am searching to find out what God wants me to do now. I can’t be active in our ministry anymore, so how do I serve Him? Right now I want my story to do the talking. I try to encourage people I have met who are sick and share with them my story and tell them to never to give up. Prayer is a powerful thing. I have people from all over the world praying for me. I know it works! And I know that my life as a Sister Servant of the Blessed Sacrament, a life of adoration, prayer, work and service, has sustained me. I am blessed, no matter what happens.

Praying_Hands_freeSr. Maryanne passed on in 2013. We are blessed to know that she is eternally well and happy in our Lord’s arms.


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— St. Frances Xavier Cabrini


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