As a teenager, Maureen found growing up exciting. She learned from experience that the attractions of the world left her feeling empty inside. Her childhood love of God and religious life was restored when a peer in high school shared about a personal relationship with Jesus.
Maureen Grady was born in Chicago, Illinois as the oldest of four. Her family lived eight blocks from the church, and since they didn’t have a car, they walked to Mass together. She attended CCD classes given by the parish’s sisters.
Maureen had an aunt who was a religious sister, and when she was around sisters, Maureen sensed a special presence. When she would walk into a convent, she felt God’s peace. She first thought about a vocation after her First Communion.
During her teens, Maureen was distracted from her devotion to God. She went so far as to find ways to avoid going to Mass, and this weakened her relationship with God. She found that missing Mass to escape this empty feeling only made the emptiness worse, not better.
When Maureen was seventeen, a Christian friend talked to her about a relationship with Jesus. As Maureen was from a Catholic family, she did not want to leave the Church. What this young friend succeeded in doing was helping her thirst for God again. She found herself opting to take the longer bus route home as it drove right past her church. Her love for God was rekindled as she prayed before Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament. Even her involvement in golf, tennis and glee club could not compare to her renewed love for the Lord.
When Maureen was a senior in high school, her mother met a priest involved in the Charismatic Renewal. Her mom received a healing through the prayers of this priest. Maureen and her mom and sister began attending prayer meetings, and soon Maureen received the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. A word from the Lord given as she was prayed over was, ”I want to be with you always.” She realized that the Lord was expressing His spousal love for her. She worked for an insurance company in downtown Chicago after graduation as she began to look at a religious vocation. She was involved with the prayer group as a member of the core group, serving on the Life in the Spirit Seminar team.
Maureen learned about the Disciples through a prayer group friend, even though she had not mentioned thinking of vocation to anyone. She met some Disciples at a Notre Dame conference, and by August of 1980, she entered the community. She received the name Sr. Miriam as a novice. She professed her first vows in 1982, and her final vows in 1986.