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Hometown: Fort Lauderdale, Florida
Date of Entrance: June 26, 1945
Date of First Profession: January 5, 1947
Date of Final Profession: January 5, 1952
Current Ministry: Prayer and Presence
Sister Therese Margaret Roberts, OP, lives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, where she was born and raised and had lived with her mother for 40 years. Yet, she is anything but a homebody: she has traveled to every continent on Earth.
She was born in 1926 to one of the first families to settle in Fort Lauderdale – even before the city was chartered. “I come from a pioneer family,” she said. The only child of Protestant parents, Sister Therese Margaret began in second grade to attend St. Anthony School, where she was taught by Adrian Dominican Sisters. Just before graduating from high school, she decided to become a Catholic and ultimately entered the Adrian Dominican Congregation.
Sister Therese Margaret was an elementary school teacher for several years, in Michigan, Florida, and Puerto Rico. Her last formal assignment – before Sisters participated in discerning their ministries – was as a teacher for eight years at St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Fort Lauderdale.
Sister Margaret Therese then spent the remainder of her formal ministerial years serving in public schools. Her experience was wide and varied – and in many cases gave her the opportunity for world travel. She developed a program for gifted middle-school students in Broward County, Florida. During one Christmas break, she traveled to Russia with her principal, experiencing the dangers of traveling in a Communist nation and the fun of riding on the Orient Express and in a troika, a horse-drawn sled.
Still under the auspices of the public school system, Sister Margaret Therese then served for seven years as the director of education for the South Florida State Hospital. She obtained grants for a small train to transport students across campus every day to the academic building or the vocational building.
When Sister Margaret Therese retired after spending next 22 years as a guidance counselor at Piper High School, the school community gave her a special gift: a National Geographic expedition to Antarctica.
Sister Therese Margaret believes she has always lived out the Adrian Dominican Mission in her public school ministry. Through the use of her title “Sister” on her checks and on the nameplate on the door, she ensured that everybody knew that she was a Catholic Sister. “I felt my obligation to be a good example of what a nun should be,” she said. “For many of those people – both professional people that I worked with and students – I may have been the only contact that they would ever have in their life with a nun.