Growing up as the ninth child in a family of ten, I was very aware of family values, traditions, sibling rivalry and the love of a close-knit family. I enjoyed family gatherings on a Sunday when some of my older siblings who had already left home returned for a visit and a home cooked meal.
Like my siblings, I attended a Catholic Elementary School but was the only child to graduate from a Catholic High School. This was due to the fact that by the time I was in the eighth grade I had an idea that I was being called to religious life. With this thought in mind, I asked my parents for permission to attend Catholic High School.
As a sophomore in high school I felt a very strong invitation to become a Sister of Mercy. By this time, I was enjoying myself so much in life that I asked God to keep me in mind and return in a couple of years. I promised that I would follow if the invitation was extended again. The rest is history as the invitation was extended and I kept my promise.
My education and training as a Pastoral Minister and Pastoral Counselor made me very aware of the great need for respect for life and the dignity of personhood. In my passion for life, I identify with the fourth century saint, Irenaeus, who proclaimed that God’s greatest glory is the fully alive person. Throughout my years as an elementary teacher and principal these values were reinforced beyond my imagination as my ministries continued to lead me to high school and college students, to adults seeking to know and appreciate themselves, to my Sisters as a member of the leadership team, to under privileged children and adults seeking to become better persons and to many adults exploring a deeper relationship with their God. The awareness of the presence of God was obvious as I witnessed people making life changes as a result of attending an adult education class or sharing their development of a relationship with God. The Critical Concerns of the Sisters of Mercy and our Spiritual and Corporal Works of Mercy challenge me each day to strive to become a more compassionate person, God centered person.
I believe as Christians we each have a responsibility to grow and to become the best person one can possibly be with all the challenges and celebrations that life may present. I continue to challenge people to become the person God intended them to be by ministering as an Administrative Assistant at McAuley Wholistic Services, meeting people and engaging with them as I support our staff and the gifts they bring to our program.
In my free time, I enjoy reading, listening to relaxing music, attending cultural events, creating a good home cooked meal, playing games on my IPad and celebrating with my Sisters.
My life has been shaped by the lens of being a daughter of a Sicilian immigrant, growing up in a household of wonderful aromas coming from the kitchen, family dinners where Italian food was served almost daily, and listening to stories being told by the elders. One could walk into the back yard to pick fresh tomatoes, parsley, and basil. Occasionally, the fig tree would provide a sweet ripe fig; however, growing a fig tree in the harsh winters of St. Louis was a challenge. Attending the neighborhood Catholic grade school and Catholic high school was a given and part of that life. My faith and values were shaped by this environment.
Upon graduation from high school, I entered the Sisters of Mercy in St. Louis. My education includes a double major of history and Theology, a Masters in Social Work, and most recently a certificate in digital photography.
The years of ministry involvement have provided a sacred journey in which I have been able to not only respond in Mercy to others but also receive Mercy from those I serve. I am always touched by what I hear and see. I enjoy cooking, reading, movies and the adventures of travel. It seems that every journey involves encounters of meeting God in people along the way as well as through the beauty of nature. Digital photography allows for Visio Divina when we become present to being surrounded daily by the beauty of God. The images we receive are gifts. The more we engage in contemplation upon such beauty then the more we can be in awe and wonder of the interconnectedness of all of life.
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