Sister Theresa Macey, O.P.
Sister Theresa was born in Houston, Texas where she lived with her parents and five siblings. She attended Holy Name Catholic School and St. Agnes Academy and was influenced by the Dominican Sisters who educated her. Sister Theresa had plans of entering the convent right after her high school graduation, but went on to attend the University of St. Thomas with her father’s encouragement.
Sister Theresa followed her heart and entered the convent in 1956 after graduating from the University of St. Thomas. For ten years she taught at St. Peter of the Apostle Catholic School and Sacred Heart Catholic School in Houston, Texas and St. Mary’s Catholic School in Orange, Texas.
In 1966 she answered an appeal from Pope John XXIII for religious communities to minister in Latin America. She took a crash course in Spanish and headed to Guatemala with Sisters Mary Alice Carbajal and Siena Schmitt. Sister Theresa spent the next several years moving around the region working with the youth in the areas she ministered. She brought education and religion programs to the many impoverished youth, empowering them to become future leaders. “I enjoyed working with the youth groups, forming them to be leaders. We helped them to understand how to make a better place for themselves and others, how to make a better Guatemala.”
Her work in Guatemala was often dangerous with the political unrest and the extreme political and social divisions among the people, but this only increased the importance of the mission and furthered her determination to work with the youth and poor. The sisters established a Catholic school in Zacapa. Sister Theresa was also involved in the establishment of San Vicente de Paul School in Guatemala City. The programs were very successful. Over 85% of the youth completed the programs and went on to pursue higher education.
Sister Theresa’s effort also included annual parish visits in the Galveston-Houton Archdiocese to fund and maintain the Guatemala mission. Sister Theresa has dedicated over 40 years of her life to her ministry in Guatemala. “I worked hard and whatever I did I tried to do it as best I could.” Her hard work was recognized by the Nicaragua Presidential Commission in May of 2006 with the award for Human Rights for her 40 year effort in fostering a culture of peace.
Sister Theresa currently resides at St. Dominic Village where she enjoys reading and visiting with friends and family.
Interview with Sister Theresa Macey, O.P. June 2014
Sourced from an article in the University of St. Thomas Publication Summer/Fall 2006.