Harvard’s Valedictorian to Become Dominican Nun

Here’s a great story . . .  Don’t tell Mary Anne Marks the Catholic Church is an oppressive, misogynistic disaster. She knows better. And she’s got a Harvard degree, too.

Miss Marks, a native of Queens, N.Y., graduated from Harvard University this past semester with an undergraduate degree in classics and English, delivering her commencement address in Latin. This fall, she begins a new life, discerning her future consecrated to Christ as a Catholic religious sister with the Dominican Sisters of Mary, Mother of the Eucharist, in Ann Arbor, Mich.
. . .

KATHRYN JEAN LOPEZ: You are a Harvard graduate. Aren’t you surrendering all the possibilities that entails by entering a convent?

MARY ANNE MARKS: Yes, if one doesn’t see becoming a well-educated, intellectually alive nun as one of the possibilities. . . .

LOPEZ: I don’t know about you, but I read the New York Times. A number of the op-ed columnists there, and a number of the news stories, tell me that the Catholic Church is anti-woman. And from other stories, about the various scandals, the Catholic Church also sounds like a dying, loser organization of sinners. Why would you choose to represent it in such a public, hard-to-miss way — in a religious habit?

MARKS: I feel privileged to represent the Catholic Church in a visible way, because it is an organization of sinners and sinners-turned-saints, emphatically alive, expanding, and responsive to the needs of the time, an organization that has been enormously effective in promoting the spiritual and material well-being of women and men throughout the 2,000 years of its existence.

From its earliest years, the Church’s doctrine of the equality of all humans as beloved children of God and its reverence for Mary as the spouse and mother of God elevated women to a status previously unheard of. In our own times, the Church’s unequivocal opposition to practices such as abortion and contraception, which harm women physically and psychologically, and threaten to render them victims of their own and others’ unchecked desires, makes the Church a lone voice above the chaos, promoting women’s dignity and happiness.

The cry that the Church is a “dying, loser organization of sinners” echoes down the centuries; it rang out in Christ’s day, it rang out in Luther’s day, and it rings out in ours. The second part always has and always will be too true. Kyrie eleison. The erroneousness of the first part is suggested by the Church’s record of accomplishments and its longevity to this point, and by the new growth that people of my generation rejoice to see.

. . .

LOPEZ: I don’t know Harvard to be a great incubator or beacon of religious vocations. Am I wrong?

MARKS: Yes, Deo gratias! A couple of years ago, a young man who finished Harvard in three years entered the seminary in St. Louis. A little further back, a young woman who attended Harvard and lived in the same women’s residence that I did joined the Franciscan Sisters of the Renewal. One of my friends, whom I met while she was pursuing a degree at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government, joined the Religious Sisters of Mercy two years ago. This July 25, two young men from Harvard joined the Eastern Province of the Dominicans.

Read the whole interview here. Here’s a video of her delivering her now famous commencement speech in Latin:
Source: Sacred Page

10 Responses to Harvard’s Valedictorian to Become Dominican Nun

  1. Celibacy says:

    This seems answers to prayers if there is an increase in vocations.

    However, it is important to discern for yourselves whether you have the gift of celibacy or whether there is an evil spirit within you called celibacy?

    You mentioned the Franciscan Siters of the Renewal this is wonderful. Maybe those who want to follow a life of celibacy should approach them to discern whether it is indeed a gift of celibacy that they have.

    Fortunately, I had the evil spirit of celibacy cast out and I now know that I was not meant to be a celibate for life. Maybe if more religious and clergy in the past were born again evangelical Catholics

  2. Celibacy says:

    This seems answers to prayers if there is an increase in vocations.

    However, it is important to discern for yourselves whether you have the gift of celibacy or whether there is an evil spirit within you called celibacy?

    You mentioned the Franciscan Siters of the Renewal this is wonderful. Maybe those who want to follow a life of celibacy should approach them to discern whether it is indeed a gift of celibacy that they have.

    Fortunately, I had the evil spirit of celibacy cast out and I now know that I was not meant to be a celibate for life. Maybe if more religious and clergy in the past were born again evangelical Catholics there would be

  3. Celibacy says:

    This seems answers to prayers if there is an increase in vocations.

    However, it is important to discern for yourselves whether you have the gift of celibacy or whether there is an evil spirit within you called celibacy?

    You mentioned the Franciscan Siters of the Renewal this is wonderful. Maybe those who want to follow a life of celibacy should approach them to discern whether it is indeed a gift of celibacy that they have.

    Fortunately, I had the evil spirit of celibacy cast out and I now know that I was not meant to be a celibate for life. Maybe if more religious and clergy in the past were born again evangelical Catholics there would be a

  4. Celibacy says:

    continued….

    there would be far less sexual scandal within the church.

    But the church is being restored and renewed by the Holy Spirit and we must share our experiences in order to have a pure virgin bride ready for the second coming of Jesus.

  5. Obvious says:

    It is obvious that Celibacy is a touch typist and the message was submitted before she hit that button.

    You need to slow down

  6. John W. says:

    Notice the classical Latin pronunciation – very different from church Latin. If they chant in the convent she’s going to, she may need to unlearn a few things.

    : )

  7. Alejandro says:

    May Mighty God and his Blessed Mother the Virgin Mary bless this Harvard vocations. Cause many think that our Holy Catholic Church is made of simple peasants. They are so wrong. Many great saints were noble knights, kings and queens. Although the Holy Spirit leads our Church, its is important that society changes its point of view and acknowledge that Our Church if formed by the best of the best. God chooses the best for His tasks. Moses was the prince of Egypt, Saint Paul was a Roman Citizen and studied with Gamaliel. Our Blessed Mother was consacrated to the temple, she had an upscale education. His father and mother, St Joaquin and St Ana were millionaires in their time. God does the work, to Him the Glory for ever and ever. But God chooses the best of the best. That’s why for me it is no surprise that God is now recruiting in Harvard.

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