Mother John Marie Stewart, DLJC, foundress of the Disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, A Franciscan Charismatic Religious Community in the Diocese of Amarillo, Texas, went to her Beloved Spouse – Jesus – May 26, 2018. A Prayer Vigil will be 6:30 p.m., Tuesday, May 29, 2018 at St. Mary’s Cathedral. Mass of Christian Burial will be 10:00 a.m., Wednesday, May 30, 2018 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Mary’s Cathedral with The Most Reverend Patrick J. Zurek, Bishop of Amarillo as main celebrant. A private burial service is being arranged. Arrangements are by Schooler Funeral Home, 4100 S. Georgia, Amarillo, Texas 79110.
Mother John Marie was born Dorothy Nelle Stewart on December 5, 1926 to Frank and Justine Stewart in Stamps, Arkansas. She was born into a family of Methodist ministers, elders and missionaries. Mother graduated from the School of Nursing at Vanderbilt University with the intention of being a missionary. With the advent of World War II doubts and spiritual confusion came into her life. A friend took her to a Catholic Priest and through his guidance Mother’s faith was renewed. She later entered the Catholic Church. Well-meaning friends and family opposition eroded her faith and she would become a secular humanist. By this time Mother was working on a Ph.D. in English Literature at Columbia University in New York and editing textbooks for a leading publisher. A Catholic Sister in her Dante class was instrumental, by her quiet evangelization, to bringing Mother John Marie back to the Catholic Church after a long absence.
In February 1969, two years after the Duquesne weekend –the beginning of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal in the United States. – Mother received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. In the ensuing years Mother participated in street evangelization in New York City, became a part of the ‘Jesus People Army’ in Washington, and attended many Charismatic Conferences.
The Lord began showing Mother John Marie what a Prayer Town might look like in 1969. On January 22, 1972, while on retreat at a Poor Clare Monastery in Memphis, TN, the Lord gave our Founding Document. This document along with our Franciscan Third Order Regular Rule and our Constitutions are the framework of our way of life. Mother’s hard work and prayers culminated in the Disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ being erected as an Institute of Diocesan Rite on April 7, 1991 in the Diocese of Amarillo, TX.
Mother John Marie was a woman of tremendous faith. She never ceased evangelizing. She brought the Catholic Charismatic Renewal to the English speaking missionaries in Japan; Mexico City and Monterrey, Mexico. She traveled to India, Poland, and Russia and was never afraid to sneak in a few Bibles and openly declare that ‘Jesus is Lord’ and the power of the Holy Spirit. Mother would even ask the bagger at the grocery store: “how is the Lord treating you?” The responses varied but each person was reminded that “Jesus loved them.”
By her untiring love for souls, Mother John Marie taught her spiritual daughters to “go after the lost sheep”; bringing them into the knowledge of Jesus’s love and mercy; and then helping them receive the fullness of the Holy Spirit.
Mother’s life was undergird by prayer both personal and liturgical. It was in communion with her Beloved Jesus and by the leading of the Holy Spirit that the vision the Lord gave her for the Disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ has sprouted and continues to grow under the guidance of the Lord and the Church.
The legacy left behind includes, Prayer Town Emmanuel, (our Mother House – forty miles northwest of Amarillo) and local houses in Amarillo, TX; Albuquerque, NM; Santa Fe, NM; Pennsylvania; and Monterrey, MX.
Mother John Marie has left behind thirty-eight grieving spiritual daughters; thirty sisters in Perpetual Profession; three in Temporarily Profession; and one Novice and three Postulants.
Mother John Marie was preceded in death by her parents; and two brothers, Clay and Frank Stewart, whose children are deceased. She is survived by great nieces and their families.
In lieu of flowers, memorials in Mother John Marie’s name can be made to the Disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. PO Box 64, Boys Ranch, TX 79010, or at DLJC.org.