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UST Alumna Rebecca Heffern Joins Franciscan Sisters
Members of the University of St. Thomas community may have known her as Rebecca Heffern, but this 2010 graduate now goes by a new name. Heffern, a joint major in Spanish and Catholic Studies, is the first UST student to join the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist, the order that has resided on campus since 1999. Last month, Heffern received her veil and was given the name Sr. Mary Kolbe.

“The Franciscan community has been delighted with Sr. Mary Kolbe’s first year in formation,” said Sr. Paula Jean Miller, FSE, professor of theology and director of the Catholic Studies Program at UST. “She has had many opportunities to use and develop what she learned here at UST.”

Since graduation, Sr. Mary Kolbe has been busy at the order’s Motherhouse in Meriden, Conn. She taught Spanish at a Catholic elementary school and religious education in a local parish, visited Hispanic families through a special grant program and is continuing her education in theology at Holy Apostles College.

“We’re proud of her and are excited to see how beautiful and happy she looks in her new Franciscan habit and veil,” said Sr. Paula Jean. “We hope she’ll be the firstof many UST vocations and start a new trend!”

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The University of St. Thomas, dedicated to educating leaders of faith and character, is a private institution committed to the liberal arts and to the religious, ethical and intellectual tradition of Catholic higher education. St. Thomas is Houston’s only Catholic University and was founded by the Basilian Fathers in 1947.


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