When I was a child, I knew God. God had something to do with the wondrous physics of the world that have delighted me since I was child. Light through a prism, drops of color diffusing in water... God was in the thunder, and in the iridescence of a swimming fish, and God had a handle on the larger circumstances of my life, too. I remember my relief that I did not have to understand it all. Someone or something had the vision of a much bigger picture. And that picture was waiting for me.
Whatever else this God-sense was to me, I somehow also knew that it was a gift-- a gift that called forth an absolute desire to respond to it. I was to use this awareness. I was to be "me," one who couldn't help but want to and believe it was possible to “see into the life of things” (Wordsworth).
After years of experience with love, challenge, and grace, I could see that this openness to what lie within and the desire to express it was a foundational principle in how I had being in the world. It was why I wrote, what I saw brimming inside of students, why I enjoyed reading and learning, what I heard between the syllables of language and poetry, and it was what lay beyond the horizon.
One of the reasons why I joined the Roman Catholic Church was because I found within its history different approaches to expressing this relationship... icons, poetry, mysticism, ritual...
Call it wonder, call it God, call it beyond the horizon, call it the Sacred Heart where what is most deeply human meets what is most gloriously divine, my life was consecrated by God...dedicated...to the journey that will lead me back to Love time and again. And I accepted the invitation.
I first met the Society in New York City where I was a children's librarian. A friend had given me the name of someone to call when I moved there so I would know someone in a city of more than 8 million! I got a call about a month after arriving and received an invitation to come over to the RSCJ community on 80th Street. I went... and never really left. After three years of being with them in all sorts of circumstances, I could feel my response to the invitation of God taking shape. I was at home with these women--with how they were with one another, how they prayed, what they talked about... with how the circumstances of the world influenced choices and decisions.
Seventeen years ago, with the support of my family, I entered the Society to live this invitation within the Church and alongside others in a way that feels whole-making, freeing, integrating, broadening, and challenging. I entered to live a life of discovery and revelation, growth, contemplation and apostolic service in the company of my sisters around the world and in the company of everyone I meet no matter the ministry in which I engage.
Over the years, I have been a librarian within the Network of Sacred Heart Schools for students aged three to eighteen years old. I have also been a campus minister in a high school, taught religion to thirteen year olds in the classroom, and been a homeroom and literature teacher for eleven year olds.
In addition to my extended international experience in Chile before making final vows in January of 2011, I have had the opportunity to participate in other international RSCJ projects. Twice I have helped the RSCJ of Mexico and their summer educational project for youth in Leon, Guanajuato. I also worked in a similar project organized by the RSCJ and volunteers of Sancti Spiritu, Cuba. Library skills proved handy for helping two communities in Indonesia reorganize after an influx of termites.
For the last two summers I have also helped during sessions of the Summit Leadership Academy for youth with Imma DeStefanis Reyna Gonzales, the two RSCJ who developed this project.
Another aspect of ministry that I enjoy deeply is interpretation/ translation work. I have done simultaneous translation/interpretation at a couple of international meetings and have also done written work for our international website.
My interest in language and writing extends to poetry and blogging as well. I have kept a blog for eight years now...Life seems to provide a never ending supply of material! The truth of that never ending supply of material is part of my response to someone asking me once if I had any regrets about entering.
I do not believe my life is consecrated at a distance or to a distant purpose. I am sealed by the love of God in Jesus to the discovery and revelation of presence in the here and the now as well as in the there and then. Giving in to that has brought me both the greatest joy and most aching pain I could imagine.
I have found it a difficult and remarkable honor, that Yes to love... humbling... and utterly astounding.
No regrets. And a whole lot of Love.
Love that moves with me, sustains me, challenges me, and calls to me. It calls me home and it calls me toward the people of God. Right now, the call is to be in Halifax, Nova Scotia, helping out in the Sacred heart School next door, getting a Spirituality Center underway on the first floor of our house, and being a part of the Noviceship community.
Life is busy and God is good!