Sister Olive Therese was born in McCook, Nebraska, 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.
She was inspired on her spiritual journey and deeply influenced by her patron saint, Therese of Lisieux. After reading an autobiography of Saint Therese, she decided at the young age of 13 that she, too, could live in a contemplative way. The way she tried to live is reflected in this 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.” Sister Olive tried to carry out all my tasks with love.
Her journey to the Benedictine way of life began at Mount St. Scholastica in Atchison, Kansas, in January, 1951. Her ministry was education and music to small communities in Kansas and Colorado. She knew pain from an accident when she was hit by an automobile and requested dispensation from her monastic vows. She lived in Lafayette, Colorado for ten years and worked as a receptionist in a doctor’s office and gave piano lessons. In 1980, she was sweeping her kitchen floor when she heard the still, gentle voice calling from within, “It is time for you to go back.” She then entered Benet Hill Monastery, a daughter house of Mount Saint Scholastica. She loved to create simple, beautiful candles for community celebrations, prayer services, and gifts. She served on the Worship Team, played the organ, and spent many hours creating inclusive language for our community’s worship songs.