As Sister Theresia Scheuer’s funeral Mass drew to a close, those gathered in St. Catherine Chapel sang a closing song that surely summed up Sister Theresia’s life: Robert Lowry’s “How Can I Keep from Singing?”
Music was intertwined with Sister Theresia’s life from her earliest days as a piano teacher’s daughter all the way to her last years, during which she shared her gifts as a singer, cantor, pianist, and organist with her Congregation. In between, she taught music at several schools in Ohio and Michigan, and her last twenty years in active ministry were spent as the music director at St. Alphonsus Parish, Deerfield, Michigan.
Sister Theresia was born Mary Susan Scheuer in Adrian on March 28, 1931, to Edward and Opal (Ott) Scheuer. She was a twin, but the other baby, also a girl, did not survive.
Despite her baptismal name, from early on she was known simply as Susie. She was the youngest of three Scheuer daughters, after Ahlene, the eldest, and JoAnn.
Ahlene “did not at first fancy the idea of another one in the family,” Sister Theresia wrote in an autobiography that dates back to her early high school years. “But gradually she became accustomed to the idea and didn’t think me quite so bad after all. JoAnn, who is between Ahlene and me in age, was quite thrilled.”
Read more about Sister Theresia (pdf)
Memorial gifts may be made to Adrian Dominican Sisters, 1257 East Siena Heights Drive, Adrian, Michigan, 49221.
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I was blessed to know Sister through the St. Alphonsus choir after she recruited me in. I am very sad to hear that she's left us. She was a fine musician and I will treasure the time we worked together in the parish and as friends. Her faith, intelligence, and love for our parish and the world was truly an inspiration to all she came in contact with. My family got to know her as well and she will be missed. She was an outstanding teacher and brought out the best in us. We love you Sister.
I rejoice that Sr has gone home to be with the Lord, but I am deeply saddened by the loss of such a tremendous friend. Sr Theresia was my prayer warrior. When I was diagnosed with cancer and the tumor on my chest had prevented me from singing the Our Father for Alumni Mass at Siena Heights I was so heart broken. It is one of the gifts I enjoy sharing with the Siena community for homecoming. Theresia said “Lets work this out” she rewrote the music in a different key and she worked with me diligently over two days to pronounce words differently while singing and controlling my air differently. The morning of mass we practiced very early so no one was around and made a few more note changes in order that I might deliver the song with the strength and reverence for our God. One of the professors of the university heard me practice both days and he and Theresia prayed over me. To say the very least it went incredibly well thanks to this dear friend who believed in me, and whom made it possible. The prof came up after mass and with tears in his eyes just hugged me. Theresia started a prayer chain for me around the world and I was healed. We have stayed connected these past ten years. She was a joy, and her fervor for social peace and justice was huge. She will be greatly missed, who shall be my accompaniment if I ever get that chance again. Thank you Theresia for your friendship, your belief in me, your prayers, and for your dedication to our Lord and Savior and His work here on earth. And maybe most of all “the music”. I hear your voice still, thank you my friend, I love you. Until we meet again ❤️✝️
What a kind and lovely woman. I will miss her at the Tuesday Peace Prayer services very much.
Sr. Theresia was a masterful musician. She was piano teacher to me and many of my family members and an integral part of the Catholic identity in our parish. I’ll always remember her saying, “In order to play, you must play lightly with your fingers and deeply with your soul”. She’s playing with the most Heavenly Chorus now. I think she’d like that.
Our Adrian Dominican cemetery with its circular headstones is a beautiful place of rest for women who gave their lives in service to God — and a peaceful place for contemplation and remembrance.
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