- I was born and raised in the small town of Blair, Nebraska. I have never lived somewhere with a pro-football team, and am excited to transition from being a Cornhusker fan to a Seahawks fan. As the youngest of 3, I was privileged to grow up learning the importance of family. My mom works as a receptionist for a dental office, and my dad currently works for a nuclear power plant. My sister teaches 5th-8th grade music in Minnesota, while my brother works with computer programming in Nebraska. I’ve also got two fur-babies who I miss back in NE, Sadie the dog, and Kylie the cat (which leads me to this shameless plug, if anyone needs a dog-sitter or cat-sitter, I am available).
- I love to be outdoors, whether it’s golfing, hiking, camping, or playing soccer or softball (and I am excited to see how the weather these outdoor activities). I also enjoy watching movies, documentaries, and reading when I am able.
- I am proud to be Jesuit-educated at Creighton University in Nebraska, where I was privileged to have the opportunities and mentors to discern where God calls me each and every day. In the first semester of college, I changed majors from Pre-Physical Therapy to a double major in Cultural Anthropology/Justice and Society, and have felt at home in these studies ever since.
- My most transformative experience during college was spending 4 months studying abroad in the Dominican Republic. I am still learning about the graces received during that time, and I could go on writing about my experiences forever, but will try to keep it short for this article. I travelled with 19 other students to ILAC, a medical mission in the heart of Santiago, RD. Two months were spent in the classroom and city, learning about and experiencing the culture, learning Spanish, and working with my service site, Caritas Licey. The other two months were spent in the campo San Jose de las Matas with host families. We were able to live with our families, be invited into their daily lives, and work with them in building a greenhouse. The most important part of the experience was building relationships with the wonderful people I have gotten to know.
From my experiences in the Dominican Republic, I have grown to towards the call to be on the “peripheries” as Pope Francis says. It’s in these peripheries in life, where people are deeply living in the mystery of God, the mystery of suffering, of injustice, and of growing together in community, that I understand what being a disciple means to me. My relationship with God and my relationship with others are connected – and from this connection I can understand what to give of myself. This connection has drawn me to work in outreach and stewardship, because of the connection between growing in gratitude for the privilege God has given me, and giving back all I can God and to others.
I hope I can bring an insight into the direct connection between placing ourselves on the peripheries, becoming aware of the privileges and gifts we have been given, and the way God calls us to give back all that we can.
- I have been discerning religious life. It started at my service site in the DR from witnessing the sisters living in a balance of prayer life and service. Their work has immensely helped me deepen my sense of calling.
- Music has been a part of my family for my whole life. It is one of those graces I am blessed to be gifted with, because I know I didn’t make it. I enjoy playing percussion and am hoping to join a community concert band in the next year or so. Shameless plug: if anyone knows of any good concerts coming up, let me know!
- I am a bit of an Anthropology/Sociology/Social Justice nerd. Teilhard de Chardin and the Social Doctrine of the Church are some of my favorites to learn from, and I was also given the opportunity to do some qualitative research on stewardship and engagement with a Catholic church in a small rural town in NE. The academic and spiritual formation from these experiences, in addition to my experiences in the DR, have led me to want to be of service with outreach and stewardship. I am SO grateful to have been given the opportunity to work for St. Anthony Parish in Stewardship and Outreach. Being a part of this parish has allowed me to grow in the gifts I have been given.