After eight years of teaching students with behavior and emotional concerns in public schools, I entered the Sisters of Notre Dame in 2009 – thinking I would be a middle school/high school teacher for the rest of my career.
Well, God had other plans for me! My heart has always been with those who struggle behaviorally. I had the opportunity to use this gift first at Julie Billiart School, as an Intervention Specialist, then, in the inner city at Cleveland Central Catholic High School. While at CCC, in addition to teaching, teaching geometry, algebra I, algebra II, and social skills, I worked closely with the boys’ basketball team providing support where needed and establishing study tables after school. Each of these were grace-filled experiences of sharing the SND charism, beautiful opportunities to serve those on the margins bringing the love of our good and provident God to all I encountered.
Presently, I am the Vocation Director for the Sisters of Notre Dame in Chardon and am on our National Vocation Team. As a vocation director and spiritual director my ministry is two-fold. First, I walk with young women and men who are discerning a call to religious life and/or are looking to deepen their relationship with God through spiritual direction. Secondly, I promote vocations by giving vocation talks to parishes, schools, young adult groups and through diocesan events. During these presentations, I share my gift of faith and encounter with Christ. I also facilitate retreats for college students and serve as a spiritual director for busy student retreats and discernment retreats.
Vocation efforts in Florida and California are seeing exciting growth. This past year, I began ministering with our sisters in California at the University of Southern California (USC) and the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). I will be providing spiritual direction and facilitation for the women’s silent retreats, discernment retreats, and the Busy Trojan Retreat, along with other vocation related events and opportunities in California. These collaborative efforts continue to bear much fruit!
In partnership with the Midwest Jesuits, we are piloting a year-long discernment group called “Give God a Year: Ignatian Discernment & Spiritual Accompaniment” to bring young women and men to a deeper more intimate relationship with God. With spiritual accompaniment on their faith journey, through ongoing spiritual direction and presentations on the spiritual life we hope to help them learn to discern the voice of God in their lives.
God has blessed me with many beautiful opportunities to minister to and with others during my eight years with the Sister of Notre Dame. Each ministry I have had has been a blessing! In my present role as vocation director and spiritual director, it is such a gift and privilege to walk with young adults on their sacred journey helping them probe the mystery of God in their lives. I’m excited to see what God has in store for me next!