“The Lord nudged me in high school.” That’s the way Sister Teresa Marie Bohren, SSJ, describes her call to religious life. “The strongest influence was the example of my parents,” she says. “They did what was right, no matter how hard that was.”
A native of Reynoldsville, Sister Teresa Marie entered the Sisters of St. Joseph from her home parish of St. Mary, Reynoldsville. She attended St. Mary School, Reynoldsville High School, Villa Maria College and Catholic University. Sister Teresa taught at schools throughout the Erie Diocese before becoming a caseworker for Catholic Social Services in Erie. She later served as director of Catholic Social Services for more than 15 years. Sister Teresa Marie also served in private practice as a social worker and as a bereavement counselor with Hospice of Metropolitan Erie.
Perhaps Sister Teresa Marie’s most significant ministry service occurred more than 30 years ago when she and Peter Lyons, owner of the former Marketplace Grille Restaurant in Erie, established the SSJ annual Thanksgiving Dinner. Through this ministry which continues today, hundreds of Thanksgiving dinners are served to anyone in need each year.