“O GOD, YOU SEARCH ME AND YOU KNOW ME; YOU KNOW MY RESTING AND MY RISING; YOU DISCERN MY PURPOSE FROM AFAR. YOU MARK WHEN I WALK OR LIE DOWN, ALL MY WAYS LIE OPEN TO YOU.” – PSALM 139:1-2
Sister Olive Therese was born in McCook, Nebraska, and is one of eight children. Her father was a traveling salesman and later owned a grocery store. Her mother labored in love at home raising the children. All six brothers and one sister have been quite successful. One of her older brothers is a Franciscan Priest, Fr. Bernard Geiger, O.F.M.Conv.
Sister Olive Therese was inspired on her spiritual journey and deeply influenced by her patron saint, Therese of Lisieux. After reading an autobiography of Saint Therese, Sister Olive Therese decided at the young age of 13 that she, too, could live in a contemplative way. The way Sister Olive Therese lives is reflected in a quote from Saint Therese, “You know well enough that Our Lord does not so much look at the greatness of our actions, nor even at their difficulty, but at the love with which we do them.” Anyone who knows Sister Olive Therese knows that she carries out all her tasks with love.
Her journey to the Benedictine way of life began in Atchison, Kansas, in January, 1951. Sister’s ministry was education and music to small communities in Kansas and Colorado. Sister Olive Therese has known the pain of illness in her own life and was dispensed from her monastic vows for ten years while living in Lafayette, Colorado. In 1980, she remembers one special moment while sweeping her kitchen floor when she heard the still, gentle voice calling from within, “It is time for you to go back.” Sister Olive Therese then entered Benet Hill Monastery, a daughter house of Mount Saint Scholastica.
Sister Olive Therese loved creating simple, beautiful candles for community celebrations prayer services and gifts. Sister has a passion for God’s creation and today spends many sunny days walking the grounds and enjoying the beauty at the monastery. She also has a special love of liturgy which she sees “as such a basic part of our lives.” When she served on the Worship Team, she played the organ and spent tireless hours to create inclusivity for the Community’s worship songs. When one encounters Sister Olive Therese, one comes closer to knowing patience, gentleness, and a compassionate servant.