REGINA — Sister Theresa Frey, IBVM, was a teacher for 30 years, including two years in Toronto where she taught after she took her final vows as an IBVM (Institute of the Blessed Virgin Mary) sister. That was followed by 28 years of teaching in various Saskatchewan communities before she took up parish work for the Regina archdiocese as an administrator in parishes around Sedley and Marquis.
Since retiring “for the third time” she settled in Regina, where she has volunteered and served in various churches. In recognition of her 65 years as teacher, parish administrator and volunteer, the Regina Catholic School Board, at a Feb. 2 luncheon honouring men and women in consecrated life, presented her with a Wilf Perreault print. She had no idea she was to receive the print and was very surprised and pleased.
In an interview with the PM, Frey described her vocation as a call from God. “I was a typical teenager. I went to dances and had boyfriends, but there always seemed to be something missing in my heart. I know now it was God calling me to service.”
She is the middle child in a family of 14 who grew up on a farm near Kronau, Sask., about a half-hour’s drive southeast of Regina. “We went to public school and learned our catechism at our mother’s knee and at church,” said Frey.
The well-known archdiocesan retired priest Joe Frey is Sister Theresa’s brother.
Frey, along with Sister Veronica Hagar, entered the Loreto novitiate in Toronto in 1950, and both in time returned to Saskatchewan. Hagar opened an art studio in Regina, where she taught adults pottery, oil and watercolor painting. Both are now retired. Frey continues to “help out,” but Hagar’s eyesight has prevented her from being involved.
Frey celebrated the 65th anniversary with her community in Toronto in September 2015. Hagar was not well at the time and was unable to attend.
The IBVM sisters are generally known as Loreto Sisters. It goes back to their foundress, who had a devotion to the Holy House of Loreto at Loreto, Italy. The legend is that the house in Nazareth in which the Blessed Virgin conceived and raised Jesus was, because of political unrest, moved by angels several times until it landed in Loreto. There is an ancient small house encased by a basilica at the site, and it is a major site for pilgrimages. It is also the site where many miracles are said to occur. IBVM convents became known as Loreto Convents and the sisters in them as Sisters of Loreto.