Meet Sr. Maria Caeli Parmeter, OP

Well-Worn Paths of Joy: Authentic Lives in the Resurrection​

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Sr. Maria Caeli Parmeter, OP, is a religious from the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia of Nashville, TN and teaches middle school currently at Our Lady Star of the Sea Parish in Bremerton, WA.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I grew up in Wisconsin. My hard-working and generous dad, Jay Parmeter, operates the family business of designing and selling Log homes (Golden Eagle Log and Timber Homes). My amazing mom, Rose Dorcey, has her hand in all sorts of things including cupcake decorating, flying, playing the ukulele, and babysitting the grandkids: my nephew Logan (5), and niece Claire Caeli (2). My brother Luke and his wife Caitlin live in Wisconsin where we grew up. Luke is a phenomenal TV/Video producer specializing in motorcycle Supercross. I have a wonderful stepmom, Sarah, who has three boys, Elliot, Lukas, and Andy. My talented stepdad, John, is a private pilot instructor and has two sons, Justin and John.

I attended Catholic schools in my hometown, including Assumption High School. As a sister, I earned my education degree from Aquinas College and Belmont University in Nashville. During the summers, I am working on my Masters in Theology from Providence College in Providence, RI. I love playing basketball and volleyball, watching the Green Bay Packers, playing guitar and piano, reading, drinking coffee, and I LOVE hiking. Growing up I raced snowmobiles, dirt bikes, and BMX bikes and took Taekwon-do classes.

I entered the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia of Nashville, TN in August of 2003 and made my final vows in July of 2011. I have been teaching middle school for 10 years, at Catholic schools in Nashville, St. Louis, Denver, Atlanta, and now here in Bremerton.

Who or what are influences in your faith journey?

The biggest influences in my faith journey, when I was younger, included my Religion teacher in high school, my faith-filled friends, and prayer time. The summer after my sophomore year in high school, at a Steubenville youth conference in St. Louis, I had a profound experience of knowing God’s presence and personal love for me. After this experience I did NET Ministries which had a huge impact on my prayer life and prepared the way for my religious vocation. Other influences on my faith journey include my religious community, those I serve in schools and parishes, and, of course, the grace of the Sacraments.

Name a time that was challenging in your faith.

I think one of the hardest challenges I’ve experienced was when my mom almost died in 2016. She suffered a ruptured brain aneurysm that took all of us by surprise. This was a time of relying solely on the Lord for strength to face whatever would happen. Thankfully, she made a full recovery.

What aspects of the Catholic Faith have helped you most to connect with your own personal story?

I absolutely love the quote from Psalm 196: “The Lord takes delight in His people.” This is the truth about each of us. God takes delight in us. We are his children. He loves us. I am also very drawn to the saints-their witness, individuality, beauty, and authenticity. They inspire me to be a saint.

In the symbolism provided by the offertory portion of the Mass, we see ourselves giving the work of our hands over to God to be transformed on the altar of His sacrifice. What is your life's work as a gift of self for God and His people?

My life’s work is to be the Bride of Christ. To love him with an unfettered love. That I may be free from the material things of this world (poverty), that I may love each soul God puts in my life (chastity) and follow God’s will for me as given through my superiors (obedience). Holiness is my life’s work. To be set apart for Him. This is lived out in our community’s apostolate of teaching. It is a joy to serve my student’s, teach them, and pray for them and for their families.

+ Let us pray together for Sr. Maria Caeli and join in her prayers to our God.

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