Sister Paul Mary Dreger, FSE
Born into a Coast Guard family in Oakland, California, Sister Paul Mary moved five times and finally settled on the Connecticut shoreline while growing up. During college years, a priest friend suggested she meet the Franciscan Sisters of the Eucharist. After a few visits to the motherhouse, she was quite certain that God was calling her to religious life.
Sister Paul Mary graduated from St. Joseph’s College in West Hartford, Connecticut with a Bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education. She earned a Master’s degree in Early Childhood Education and Special Education from Idaho State University. Fun loving and joyful, Sister creates an atmosphere of acceptance, discovery and care in the classrooms and day care centers where she works. She taught at Franciscan Cre-Act School in Pocatello for five years, followed by five years teaching second grade at Queen of Peace Catholic School in Cloquet, Minnesota. Now back in Pocatello, she is the director of the Early Learning Foundations program (ELF), as well as the before and after school program and summer program, at Holy Spirit Catholic School.
Sister Paul Mary was given her religious name by Mother Rosemae Pender, then Mother General, upon her entrance into novitiate in 2000. The name is in honor of Pope Paul VI, a strong proponent of the dignity of human life from conception through natural death, the core of Sister Paul Mary’s respect for the children she cares for. In fact, Sister says she owes her life to Blessed Pope Paul VI. Her mother relays the inspiring story that she and her husband, who were the parents of five children, immediately stopped using contraceptives upon learning of the teaching of Pope Paul VI in his encyclical “On Human Life,” as they realized that practice was not in accordance with the teachings of the Catholic Church on the dignity of human life and marriage. After a time her mother conceived a beautiful daughter now known as Sister Paul Mary.
A fierce hockey fan, Sister Paul Mary will freely encourage cheers for the Detroit Red Wings. She is a gifted baker and enjoys making and decorating wedding-worthy cakes for special occasions, as well as baking homemade bread and rolls. She enjoys sharing the gift of bread baking with others as she guides persons through the bread baking process.