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By Sharon Bock,
Like many Associates, Theresa Fuller has a long history with the Adrian Dominican Sisters, going back to her earliest school days: kindergarten! And the memories don’t end there. Theresa went to All Saints, a grammar school, and Bishop O’Dowd High School in Oakland, California, in the San Francisco Bay area.
The circle was unbroken when Theresa decided to enter the Adrian Dominican Sisters after graduation, choosing Sister Jane Catherine, OP, her kindergarten teacher, as her sponsor. Of her days as a vowed member, Theresa writes, “I loved what being in the convent taught me: adoration before the Blessed Sacrament. That was the greatest gift of all.”
Theresa withdrew from the Congregation, but not from her devotion to the Adrian Dominican Sisters. Although it wasn’t until the 1990s that she first heard about the Associate program, she immediately welcomed the opportunity to become affiliated with the Congregation again. “I joined right away as I missed my Sisters,” she said, adding that she looks forward to seeing them at Mission Group gatherings. She shares spiritual and emotional support, and, as occasions permit, makes financial contributions to the Congregation.
Theresa loved teaching. Her early experience teaching K-8 children dance steps for spring concerts and her talent for directing plays at the Kino Institute in Arizona paved the way for her subsequent profession as a dance and music therapist. Through this ministry, she touched so many lives: patients in mental health services and in a jail ward, elderly clients at convalescent hospitals, and those in recovery from substance abuse.
Now that they are retired, Theresa and her husband, Bill, volunteer at Birthright of San Lorenzo, a crisis pregnancy center. Bill is President of the Board and Theresa is Co-director of Daily Activities. Together they work diligently in many aspects of the organization: fundraising, marketing, public speaking, volunteer training and one-to-one contacts with the women who seek assistance at the center. Theresa also provides resource information to homeless individuals, guiding them to places where they can get food and other forms of assistance.
Theresa’s dedication to Birthright is a concrete example of her commitment to reverencing life. She empowers women who face difficult life choices, encouraging them to give birth even in discouraging circumstances. Through this work, as well as her interactions with others, Theresa makes peace and seeks – and speaks – truth.
Theresa is also a lector and Eucharistic minister at her parish. She spends time in weekly Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament and attends Bible studies and lectures on Christian life and spirituality.
Theresa and Bill love to travel. They travel by car to visit friends and go sight-seeing throughout the country. They have enjoyed several cruises, including visits to the Holy Land, Egypt, Europe, Iceland, and the Scandinavian countries, and they hope to travel to Australia.
At this writing, Bill is undergoing medical treatment and is listed on the Adrian Dominican prayer request site. We send best wishes and loving prayers to both Theresa and Bill.