December 8, 2023

Benedictine Sister Mary Carol Messmer celebrates 80 years of religious life

Criterion staff report

Benedictine Sister Mary Carol MessmerIn 2023, the Benedictine Our Lady of Grace Monastery in Beech Grove had one member celebrate a significant milestone in religious life.

Benedictine Sister Mary Carol Messmer marked the 80th anniversary of her profession of vows as a religious.

She entered Monastery Immaculate Conception in Ferdinand, Ind., now in the Diocese of Evansville, Ind., on Sept. 7, 1941, when she was 18 and professed first vows in 1943.

Sister Mary Carol earned a bachelor’s degree in education at the former St. Benedict College in Ferdinand.

She is a founding member of Our Lady of Grace Monastery, which was founded from Monastery Immaculate Conception and became an independent community in 1961.

In the archdiocese, Sister Mary Carol served as a public school teacher and parish catechist. The archdiocesan parishes at which she served are the former Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Parish in Indianapolis from 1949-50, St. Paul Parish in Tell City from 1955-56 and 1960-63, St. Meinrad Parish in St. Meinrad from 1956-58, St. Michael Parish in Bradford from 1963-65, St. Mary-of-the-Knobs Parish in Floyd County from 1965-67 and St. Pius V Parish in Troy from 1968-69.

Sister Mary Carol then began 36 years of ministry at St. John the Baptist Parish in Starlight from 1969-2005.

She also spent time in ministry in the Evansville Diocese.

Sister Mary Carol retired from ministry in 2005. After that, she served as a seamstress at the former St. Paul Hermitage in Beech Grove and continues in her ministry of prayer at Our Lady of Grace. †

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