Being anywhere for 25 consecutive years is sometimes viewed as miraculous, but Sister Grace Marie Mueller, SSND seems to have stayed above the fray and glided along at St. Luke Parish in Belleville.
First hired as a pastoral associate by Father Eugene Neff, Sister Grace was eventually named parish life coordinator, a role she continues to this day.
On July 10, what seemed to be the entire parish gathered to celebrate Sister Grace with her family members and School Sisters of Notre Dame family as well.
Throughout the afternoon, folks congratulated her on her service and during a program about her youth growing up in Belleville and then becoming an SSND, she was given a number of gifts, among them a broom and a small bowling set, reminding her of some of her youthful adventures.
Throughout the afternoon, it was apparent that Sister Grace had touched many lives even as she continues to go about her ministry, quietly without fanfare, dispersing compassion and God’s love through her interactions with the people.
Aware of the value of reaching out to other denominations, the Rev. Ronald Neustadt, former pastor of St. Mark Lutheran Church in Belleville, worked on interfaith gatherings with St. Luke’s, and had for many years.
St. Luke continues its cooperative Way of the Cross during Lent with St. Mark and St. George’s Episcopal Church, also in Belleville.
Encouraging people to stretch themselves and participate fully in the parish, Sister Grace has seen the good that the people of St. Luke do.
Sister Grace described the people as “just wonderful,” and expressed surprise that so many people and clergy came to the event.