DALLAS TWP. -- Sister Therese Marie Marques has dedicated much of her life to service to others -- through Sisters of Mercy, the many teaching positions she's held, and her time as executive director at Misericordia University's Catherine McAuley Center, to name a few.
But has her path always been clear?
I was always impressed by the way they reached out, Marques said of her upbringing in Sisters of Mercy-sponsored schools throughout her childhood in Guyana. But at the time I don't think I saw myself doing it. I remember one of the sisters saying to me, ‘Do you think you would want to be a sister?' and I said ‘Oh no, I don't think so.'
Marques chuckled at her quick dismissiveness of the idea, a path she's now grateful to have taken.
She's had quite the journey since her decision to enter the religious community in 1958, and she was recognized for her efforts during Misericordia's winter commencement ceremony Sunday, when she was honored with the Mother Catherine McAuley Medal.
Marques graduated from Misericordia in 1963 with a bachelor's degree in French and a minor in English.
She later earned a master's in English and American Literature and a master's in Human Resources Administration from the University of Scranton.
Marques has brought her compassion and care for those in need to various classrooms through the years. She taught adult students at Misericordia and at Catholic high schools in Wilkes-Barre, Plymouth and Freeland.
She returned to Guyana in 1966 to teach at her former high school and was named principal in 1971. While there, she took the leadership role as coordinator of the Community of Sisters of Mercy, Guyana, and was later named chief executive officer of St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, Georgetown.
She returned to the Wyoming Valley in 1989 and was named executive director of the Catherine McAuley Center in 1995.
There's no doubt that her commitment to the women and children of the community is unrivaled and that the growth and success of the Catherine McAuley Center is due to her leadership, Sister Jean Messaros, RSM, vice president of students affairs at Misericordia University, said in a press release.
The McAuley medal is the university's highest honor and recognizes significant service to the institution and to the values to which it aspires.