When she was in second grade, Julia Eden MacLean was a nun for career day. That day became a foreshadowing of her calling to the religious life as a Religious Sister of Mercy of Alma, Mich. MacLean, now Sister Miriam, the daughter of Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception parishioners Joseph and Kathleen MacLean, is preparing to make her perpetual vows Aug. 16 in Saginaw, Mich. After her profession, she will serve in Lake Charles, La., in the diocese’s department of religious education.
Sister Miriam was born and raised in Manchester, N.H., the same place where Mother Mary Frances Ward brought the Religious Sisters of Mercy of Alma, Mich., order to serve in the United States. Sister Miriam graduated from Ave Maria University in Florida at age 19 and entered the order at 20.
She said she always wanted to say “yes” to Jesus the first time she heard the Gospel passage about how he told the rich man to sell all his possessions and follow him.
During her formation, she earned a master’s degree in social work and is now enrolled in a doctoral program at Michigan State University for social work. She is employed as a counselor at Catholic Charities of Lansing, Mich.
“People need to know they are loved,” Sister Miriam has said.
Her mother is the organist at the Cathedral Basilica and her father works at St. Joseph Home for Veterans in Denver.
“We have been richly blessed through our daughter’s vocation,” Kathleen MacLean said.
Dominican novices profess simple vows
Two Dominican novices made their first profession Aug. 10 at St. Dominic Church.
Brother Christopher Alan Johnson, O.P., who hails from Fargo, N.D., studied at Loras College in Iowa. He became a teacher and taught high school social studies for five years and was a cross-country coach. A friend encouraged him to take his faith seriously. He then met a vocations director for the Dominicans. After a long discernment, Brother Johnson felt called to the live the order’s values of prayer, community, study and ministry.
Brother Benjamin Raymond Kuzemka, O.P., also made his first profession. He grew up in a mixed-religious background but converted with his family while he was in high school. After graduating from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, he taught in China and his faith grew. He returned and completed his master’s degree and then discovered the Dominican order.