Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Western Michigan University
How long have you been a Catholic?
Both my parents were raised Catholic; however I was not. I was brought up in the Evangelical church.
What were you doing before you entered this formation program?
I had a couple jobs after college. I lived in Colorado for a while and worked with at-risk youth. Then I switched fields and started working as an aid for people living with Alzheimer’s and dementia.
What made you begin to consider a religious vocation?
I started discerning when I was working as an aid in 2011. I was on a spiritual journey, even though I wouldn’t have used those words at the time. I always had a deeper sense that I wanted something more in life. So, when I moved back to Michigan from Colorado, I prayed to God and said, “I know I’m here for a reason, even though I don’t know what it is. Here I am . . . whatever unfolds is going to unfold.” I wanted to live simply and live intentionally—and to take care of the people around me.
What made you choose the Sisters, Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary?
One summer afternoon, my parents took me to visit one of the convents where my great aunts—who happen to be I.H.M. Sisters—were living. When I walked in that convent door, I thought, “There’s something here.” I wasn’t sure what it was, but I looked around at the nuns and how they were treating the people around them, and I thought, “Oh my gosh, this might be the thing I’ve been looking for.”
Who is your spiritual role model?
This is such a hard question because there are so many people in my community who all bring such a unique perspective to how they live their lives. There are so many I want to be like.
What would you tell someone considering a religious vocation who is unsure what steps to take?
The first thing I would always tell people is to stay open to God in prayer, and to NOT rush things! I think it is important for people considering a vocation to take their time with it—to take the time to let the call grow in you and to ask questions. Meeting sisters in person and seeing what community life is like in person is also important.
What do you do, personally, to renew your strength and focus when it comes to your faith? Where do you turn for support?
I practice yoga almost daily—it is a huge benefit, not only for my health, but also for my spiritual life and for being present. I also have learned to embrace silence, and I see the beauty in silence. With so much news and media buzzing around me, I have learned to shut it all off when I’m feeling overwhelmed.
After you become a nun, what do you hope to be doing in ten years? Twenty?
I’m not exactly a planner, so it’s hard for me to think that far down the road. I think I’d like to go back to school. But I could easily see myself doing a lot of different things. I’m trying to stay open.
If you met the pope today and could ask him one question, what would it be?
What’s the best thing about being the pope?
If you met Jesus today and could ask him one question, what would it be?
Did you always have to speak in parables? No, I’m kidding. I’d ask: How did you tune into the call of your heart, despite everything going on around you?
What is your favorite Bible verse?
Wisdom 6:12-14: “Wisdom is bright and unfading. She readily appears to those who love her. She’s found by those who keep seeking after her. She makes herself known even in advance to those who desire her with all their hearts. Someone who awakens before dawn to look for her will find her already sitting at the door.”
What is your favorite prayer?
Saint Teresa of Avila’s prayer: “If you are to make progress on the path . . . the important thing is not to think much, but to love much.”
What is the last book you read?
Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem.
What do you do for fun?
I love yoga. I love to read and journal. I spend time with family in the area. I also watch cat videos online—like everyone else.
What would you like to say to the Hilton Foundation, who made this Grant possible?
I am so thankful for the opportunity that was given to me to continue on my spiritual journey.