Thea Theissen.02132014During a campaign reception in Merrill, Bishop Peter Christensen met Thea Theissen, a 105-year-old parishioner from St. Francis Xavier Catholic Church.

Theissen — who the bishop believes may be the oldest parishioner in the diocese — touched his heart with her faith, spunk and self-sufficiency.

“Thea is a remarkable woman,” he said. “Her mind is sharp, and she is willing to share a magnificent sense of her lived history with others.”

She attends Mass twice weekly.

“I pray to God daily and he has always taken care of me … in both the happy and hard times,” Theissen said.

She attended the Faith in Our Future reception to support vocations in the diocese.

“I wanted to invest in the future of priesthood,” she explained. “When the church needs money, I want to give what I can.”

Theissen celebrated her 106th birthday in December.