Meet Sister Liz (Elisabeth Marie) Tiernan

SR-Tiernan_Liz_headshot_WEBWith a sister and brother in religious life, Elisabeth Tiernan grew up thinking it was a possibility for her life as well, but she was worried, "I wasn't the holiest one!"  She decided to take the risk and enter the convent.  Later as a young Sister, she was interviewed by the Mother General who asked "Are you happy in religious life?" Both women started laughing. It was apparent from Sister's previous answers and demeanor that she was indeed very happy and she has remained so throughout the years.

A consummate teacher, Sr. Liz taught elementary through high school classes in Notre Dame and parish schools in San Jose, Seattle, Salinas, Santa Barbara and Campbell.  But, she admits, it is her years as a religion teacher and religious education consultant that have energized her the most. "I love sharing the good news and nourishing a person's experiences of God." To this end she has developed several creative, life-giving programs for schools including "Celebrate the Presence of God," "The Advent Prayers of Christmas Symbols" and "From Abraham to Jesus in 60 Minutes or Less."

An unexpected blessing in her life has been her ministry with urban Native Americans including participating in Mass every Sunday at the Chief Seattle Club (a mission for the homeless). When asked to create a program of catechesis for Native Americans, Sr. Liz jumped at the chance. Working with a team of Native American reviewers, the material has developed into a book that uses culturally relevant symbols to explain concepts.

Housemate and friend, Sr. Julie Codd, CSJP, shares about Sr. Liz, "She is very generous with her energy, resources and time, and fearless when it comes to standing up for what's right and speaking on behalf of others who may not speak for themselves. Liz has touched many of the Indian people with her generous heart and teachings."

When she celebrated her 50th jubilee a few years ago, she shared that she is happy for the blessing of aging!  "As bodies diminish, spirits can be freed. Our spirituality can grow and influence the world in new ways."


  1. Good afternoon Sister Liz,

    My name is Theresa Tweet, and I am a student at the Saint. Paul Seminary School of Divinity on the St. Paul campus in Minnesota. I am in my last semester of their Master of Arts in Pastoral Ministry program (MAPM), and I am currently working on my final project entitled “A Compare and Contrast on the Lakota spirituality as presented by Haka Sapa (Black Elk) and the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church.”
    I received information back from the Catholic Archdiocese of Seattle from Seth Dalby. Seth contacted a gentleman named Joseph Tancioco and Joseph sent me the only files that he had that were still available, which were the “Meeting Agenda’s for Native American Catechesis.” Mr. Tancioco said you had written a book in the 90s on Native evangelization called “Keepers of the Fire,” and he recommended that I get in touch with you. Is there any information that you would be willing to share with me about Native evangelization from the ’90s, or would it be possible to get a copy of the book?

    Thank you for your consideration,
    Theresa Tweet

  2. Sr. Liz!
    You will be amazed at what I’ve been up to since I retired! First of all my artwork has exploded. I’d love to send you some of them. I think I have 80 pictures on my phone but will send you possibly 10. But my BIG news is that I wrote a book called Beyond the Natural. It’s about what God has done in my life and seriously the Holy Spirit took control of that book right from the get go. It has marveled people. Even I am amazed. I’d love for you to read it.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *