Sister Mary Frost, SDS (formerly Sr. Mary Albert) describes her life as a vowed woman religious as a tapestry of the ministries and the people she has served. She is grateful for her call to the Sisters of the Divine Savior and says life in her religious community is built on her belief in God’s providence and fidelity.
When Sr. Mary celebrated her Golden Jubilee in 2008, she had been serving for four years on the parish team at Holy Mother of Consolation in Oregon, Wis. She described her work there as a ministry of presence, walking with people at the happiest and saddest moments of their lives. She was involved with adult faith formation, including RCIA and baptismal preparation for parents of infants. She also helped with liturgy, the sick and homebound parishioners, as well as social justice concerns.
Sr. Mary says, “I am a teacher and I love people. At all times, I believe God is walking with us, and relationships with people are important facets of our faith.” Previously, Sr. Mary had taught at the elementary, high school and college levels in Wisconsin and Maryland, and in Africa. She also served as a pastoral associate in large urban areas in Illinois and small rural communities in Mississippi, and in campus ministry in Laramie, Wyo. For a time she also served as vocation director for the SDS community.
Sr. Mary grew to understand how each of her ministries helped prepare her for those that followed. Teaching phonics to Wisconsin first graders helped her teach English in Africa; experiences as an elementary principal in the U.S. prepared her to lead a girls’ boarding school in Masasi in Africa. “Every ministry was life-changing, and I was continuously learning what community and internationality meant. Again, it’s the relationships that I remember and cherish.”
Sr. Mary was missioned for nine years to serve in Zambia and Tanzania. She recalls grace-filled moments in Africa and the support of the Salvatorian Fathers there. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Mount Mary College, Milwaukee. She also holds a doctorate in African Languages and Literature from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a master’s in Religion and Religious Education from Fordham University in New York City.
Sr. Mary is one of 13 children born to Karl and Caroline Frost in Lead, S.D. She has always enjoyed being part of a large family, now spread from coast to coast and as far south as Texas. She is also grateful for her Salvatorian Family.
“I firmly believe that not only does God know us better than we know ourselves, but God loves us more than we can love ourselves. If we trust ourselves to Divine Providence, God has great things in store for us. I have been surprised and gifted over and over again with deeply rich spiritual and human, intercultural experiences. It is such a joy to be all that I could be through education and to share those gifts through ministry.”
Among her ministries today, Sr. Mary leads weekly Bible study classes at the Salvatorian Sisters Residence in Milwaukee, and at St. John the Evangelist in Greenfield, St. Mary Hales Corners and St. John Vianney Parish in Brookfield. One of her students who has come to know Sr. Mary over the last five years describes her as an excellent teacher and “one of the strongest women” she knows.
Says Patti S., “She has belief in herself and is a wonderful leader. She has taught me to believe in my own abilities and talents. Sr. Mary once told me that if all you ever ask of God is to ‘Help me to love better,’ it would be the only prayer you’d ever need.”