Sister Carol Thresher

50+ Years of Religious Life Embody Childhood Lesson

Sister Carol Thresher, SDS, (formerly Sr. Mary Blaise) was just 11 years old when she learned an important lesson about families from her parents, the late Helen and John Thresher. When they announced they’d be moving their young family to Milwaukee, firstborn Carol announced that she would stay put in Tomahawk, Wis. Sr. Carol recalls their words, “Families stick together.”

Now, as she concludes her second term as Provincial Leader for the Sisters of the Divine Savior North American Province, it’s clear Sr. Carol has embraced that lesson. As a member of the women religious branch of the international Salvatorian Family, she has worked closely with priests and brothers of the Society of the Divine Savior and Lay Salvatorian women and men in mission settings, vocation formation, as well as leadership.

Sr. Carol says, “I am humbled by my Salvatorian Family members who have set an example for renewing my response to an ongoing call to religious life. And, for me, province leadership is clearly a service role. I have been entrusted to foster the life and mission of our Congregation, always mindful of our global presence.”

During her 53 years as a vowed Salvatorian, Sr. Carol has taught in elementary and secondary schools, including her Milwaukee alma mater, Divine Savior High School — now known as Divine Savior Holy Angels (DSHA). She also served eight years with Milwaukee’s Justice and Peace Center before ministering for 18-years among impoverished people in São Paulo, Brazil.

While still in Brazil, Sr. Carol helped develop spirituality programs in collaboration with a team of lay and religious Salvatorian women and men. Her work led to designing and leading ongoing formation programs for Salvatorians worldwide. That ministry took her to Rome, Africa, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, the Philippines and England. Later, she served with other members of the Salvatorian Family on the Jordan Ministry Team when it was a pilot project in the Diocese of Tucson, Ariz. Then she returned to Milwaukee to serve in leadership as Vicaress for the North American Province before election to her first term as Provincial Leader in 2009.

Sr. Carol is a trained educator with a bachelor’s degree in history from Marquette University, and master’s degrees from the University of Notre Dame and Catholic Theological Union in Chicago.