Twenty-six years ago, the phone rang and a feisty nun from Chicago asked if I would be interested in working in the office at St. Mary’s High School serving our students and staff. Her name was Sr. Elaine and she was to be the new principal at RSM. She hired me immediately, which I am ever thankful for and I have loved being a part of this institution ever since.

I believe God tweaked that plan a bit, which led me from office work to studying and receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Theology from Briar Cliff College. While studying, I had the honor of moving into the position of directing St. Mary’s Christian Leadership Team for fifteen years, which was absolutely the best job in the world. The rest is history, as I now teach 9-12 theology along with my little 5th graders who bring an enormous amount of energy to class everyday.

After my husband and I graduated from RSM we were married and were blessed with three beautiful children and four grandchildren. Keith and I have been on the Arens centennial farm throughout our married life. Keith also works for Midwest Lubricants in Remsen. Our children also attended SM’s. Sarah ran track and cross country for the Hawks and continued on running for the University of Iowa Hawkeyes. She married Chris Wilhelmi from Annapolis, Maryland and now reside in Colorado where Sarah works for the United States Olympic Committee and Chris practices law. They have two amazing daughters, Audrey 7 and Lucy 6. Our son Mitchell graduated from Briar Cliff College and married Reba Pepper. Loving John Deere, Mitchell landed a job at Agri Vision in LeMars plus farms with his dad. Reba is the RN Clinical Manager of Fresenius Kidney Care - LeMars Area Dialysis Services. They have two very handsome little boys, Dallas 2 and a newborn, Dawson. Our son Ben died in 2001 at the age of sixteen. Not a day goes by that I don’t think of him and send prayers to heaven.

Some of my favorite things in life other than teaching about God are spending time with family, especially those grandchildren, cooking, entertaining, watching college football and basketball, and I love travelling with my husband, family and friends. Some of my very favorite moments at RSM include conversations I had with three incredible and awe-inspiring students, Estere Treimane, Bob Clark, and Seth Nelson stating they wanted to join the Catholic Church. Along with the entire school system, not once, but three times, we have had the privilege of witnessing these memorable Sacraments take place in our beautiful Church. And it’s no secret, the Pro-Life movement has always been very dear to my heart. Watching young people passionately defend all life from the unborn to the elderly has been extremely gratifying and grace-filled.

I have always believed and clearly stated that not only do I have the best job at St. Mary’s, I also have the most important.

Mrs. Mary Arens

5th Grade and High School theology

Contact me at: