You show me the path for my life, in your presence the fullness of joy …” Psalm 16, verse 11
The seed of Edna Maier’s desire for religious life was planted early on in her childhood. She thought when she entered the convent immediately after high school that it was a “fait accompli” that she would eventually teach French in high school as her favorite SNDdeN teachers had done. But that never happened! God’s initial plan for her life was mathematics: first in grade school in Staten Island, next in high school in Norfolk, Virginia and eventually at Norfolk State University, a black college which was seeking at the time more women and more white instructors on the staff.
It was 1970 and Sr. Edna looked forward to the challenge. Some of the students from the interfaith group were fascinated at having a nun on the campus and they invited her to be a guest speaker at their weekly meetings. Seven years later, she requested and received permission to be part of a Family Mission Preaching Team which was initiated by Clem Burns, OP. It was a turning point in the path for her life. For twenty years she traveled throughout the United States with the preaching team, giving week-long parish retreats wherever they were invited.
Other opportunities for preaching the Gospel emerged as various SNDdeNs encouraged Sr. Edna to write articles for various newspapers. These became a special joy to her since she never thought a mathematician could or should write! Published articles in the Philadelphia Catholic Standard and Times which were reprinted in the Catholic Digest became the prelude to six years of writing columns for two secular newspapers in Virginia. In 1997, when her preaching partner was given a new assignment, Sr. Edna looked for and found opportunities to minister as pastoral coordinator in four priestless parishes in West Virginia and Virginia. The path for Sr. Edna’s life had taken a lovely turn.
Finally, in 2005, she felt the call to return to Baltimore, one of the more populated SNDdeN centers, so she could be more in touch with sisters in the SNDdeN clan. Officially, Sr. Edna is now retired. But as a Maier, she will never be inactive! The path for her life continues to beckon her to new and blessed ways to share the Gospel with God’s people. One of these days you might even find a book by Sr. Edna as she shares her vision of our extraordinary God who speaks in such ordinary ways as he shows us the paths for our lives.