God Chased Me around the World

By Sister M. Alice Kunz

“It was not you who chose me, says the Lord, but I who chose you and appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last” (Jn 15:16).

My name is Sister M. Alice Kunz. I was born in Mayville, Wisconsin, and raised on a farm. I grew up in a family of six children. My father was a baker before he became a farmer, and he was always looking for a better life for us. Because of this, we moved around a lot until we settled in Fond du Lac in 1955. I graduated from Goodrich High School in 1957, from Marian College (University) of Fond du Lac in 1966, and then God called me to the missions in Afghanistan as a Peace Corps volunteer from 1966-1968. There I taught English as a second language to young Afghan men in a state-owned boarding school.  The Mullahs, the “priests” of the Islamic faith, were in charge of the school, and I was the only adult woman present among 1,000 students. God kept me safe during those years, which were years of peace in Afghanistan.

After two years of service, I returned to the United States and began a master’s program in Library and Information Science at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. I was a practicing Catholic, but up to this point in my life, I had never considered a religious vocation. I lived alone in Milwaukee, rode the bus to my job at an insurance company each day, and to campus after work to attend my night classes. Upon graduation, I applied for jobs in several businesses. When I received replies to my letters of application with the byline: “If only you had applied a day sooner,” I began to pray that God would show me what he had in mind for me. I decided to implement a different plan of action: I woke up an hour earlier each morning and spent time reading Scripture before the 6:30 a.m. holy Mass at Old St. Mary’s Church in Milwaukee, worked an hour of overtime each morning, attended holy Mass at St. John’s Cathedral Church during most of my lunch hours, and waited for God to give me a sign.


On July 30, 1973, I opened my Bible to a verse which really spoke to my heart: “Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send? Who will go for us?’ “Here I am,” I said; “Send me!” (Is 6:8). I spent the day at work in wonderment… Could God be calling me? The next day, I made an appointment with the rector of St. John’s Cathedral Parish. We spoke about vocational discernment and he asked me several questions about myself. He suggested that I reach out to the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary. I called the sisters and visited them several times. At the end of August, Sr. M. Winfriede, the superior, suggested that I make a retreat in order to gain more clarity about my decision. I took her advice and attended a Marian retreat at the Redemptorists’ Retreat Center. It was just what I needed to make my decision!

A month later, I was admitted to the Schoenstatt Sisters of Mary. I then gave my notice at work, to my landlord, packed my things and closed up my apartment, and moved back home to Fond du Lac with my parents. My mother brought me to the sisters in Madison on October 1, 1973, where I joined six other young women who were already in formation as postulants. This was just the beginning of my vocation story…


A vocation is a special encounter with the Lord, a special call from the Lord to “come and follow him”, but he leaves the reply entirely up to us. It is certainly something to pray about and to reflect upon.  In my life as a Sister, I have served as a librarian both within the community and out in the world – at Queen of Apostles High School in Madison, Wisconsin, and at Cathedral High School in New Ulm, Minnesota. I have been greatly blessed to use my talents and abilities to carry out the mission of serving the Lord and his mother. In May 2011, I retired from Cathedral High School. I now reside at our provincial house in Waukesha and am still active as the house librarian. 

Sr. M. Alice at the library of Cathedral High School in New Ulm, MN

When people ask me about my vocation, I jokingly say that God chased me around the world until he caught me… I have found a family and my “wonderland” as my Mother said when she came to visit me for the first time.