She said she wanted to pay back all the friendship and warmth that she received from the moment she walked in the door.
That was 12 years ago, and the Chicago native has taken on a number of large responsibilities since then.
She served as an extraordinary minister of holy Communion, which she called a special ministry. She became extremely attached to the parishioners she saw each week, and said it was beautiful but also sad when the men and women who had become her friends passed away.
Looking for a balance, Mohlman became the church wedding coordinator, which she still does.
Her biggest challenge, however, came five years ago when Msgr. Steven L. Brovey, pastor, asked her to head up the creation of a permanent chapel for adoration of the Blessed Sacrament.
Laughing, she said she didn’t know what she was getting into at the time but said sure, because “you don’t say no to your parish priest!”
The members of the Guild of St. Thomas Aquinas have over 300 people, 170 of which serve a weekly hour or more of adoration, Mohlman said. The rest are substitutes.
The hardest hours to fill are those in the middle of the night. Her husband R.J. takes one shift. Mohlman also has a weekly hour, and is at the top of the list for substitution duties.
“Everyone says that this is the best hour of their week,” she said, calling it a time of rejuvenation and peace. “I just receive so many graces from spending that hour in the chapel … you go in tired and cranky and come out a whole new person.”
Members credit spending that quiet hour with the Lord with a number of blessings, such as a strong parish school, resolution of conflicts, jobs and vocations.
One of their church members, Rebecca Shafer who is now Sister Gloria Christi, joined the Dominican Sisters of St. Cecilia, and they are also praying for priests.
The church is celebrating its 35th anniversary on Dec. 12, followed by the fifth anniversary of perpetual adoration on Dec. 14.
Mohlman’s life outside the church includes a variety of activities. She and her husband run a franchise called Shelf Genie that they started after his retirement. The couple, who met while attending school at Purdue University, has been married 41 years. They have two grown children, Jason and Suzanne, one grandchild, and hope for many more.
In addition to physical activities such as tennis and golf, Mohlman said they love to travel, which consists mostly of visiting their children and their families.
She has also been on a number of pilgrimages with the church. Her favorite trips include the Holy Land in Jerusalem; the basilica in Lourdes, France; and Rome, which she has been to about five times.
One of those trips was to support Father Jeffrey F. Kirby, now the vicar for vocations, at his diaconate ordination, she said.
Mohlman said all the parishioners took Father Kirby into their hearts when he served a pastoral year at Prince of Peace while he was a seminarian.
“He was just a great role model for us to learn from about our religion,” she said.
The highlight to each of her Rome trips was an audience and blessing from the pope.
“That is the ultimate,” she said. “I’ve also been to the four major basilicas, and of course the food and the wine is at the top of the list!”
Mohlman said it has been a blessing to be part of the parish community, which she considers a family.