Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky, but has resided in Chicago since 2013
School(s) Attended: Saint Louis University and Loyola University Chicago Institute of Pastoral Studies
Profession: Pediatric hospital chaplain and community coordinator with Jesuit Volunteer Corps’ (JVC) international program
How did you get involved with the Jesuits?
I first learned about the Jesuits when I was exploring college options, but it wasn’t until my freshman year at Saint Louis University that I really started to understand more about the Jesuits, their charisms and spirituality, and their focus on working to create a more just world in line with God’s vision. After college, I spent two years in Belize City as a Jesuit Volunteer (JV), where I was a social worker. Later, I made my way to Chicago to pursue my Master of Divinity degree and master’s in social justice at Loyola University Chicago.
How have the Jesuits impacted your life?
Aside from becoming a parent, the most transformative chapter of my life was being a JV in Belize. It’s hard to summarize two years of living, learning, and loving, but I’d say that my time there helped make ideas about what it means to live for and with others practical and real. I saw what it means to stand alongside those whose needs are different than my own, to listen to and learn from them, to share my own story, and to figure out together how to move forward. It’s this sense of shared humanity, of mutuality, that drives what I do.
How do you apply your Jesuit values in your day-to-day life?
Being a Jesuit Volunteer showed me that I can’t separate my faith and spirituality from the call I feel to walk with others and work for a more just community. Viewing my work as a chaplain as a ministry of presence helps me to listen attentively to the stories, struggles, and joys of others. The notions of being a woman who is for and with others and of being a contemplative in action both shape who I try to be and how I try to live. My spirituality is rooted in global kinship, an understanding of life as an ever-unfolding journey, a desire for the right relationship with and connection to all of creation, and a sense of attunement to God’s presence everywhere, all of which can be traced back to these notions.