Thursday, April 24, 2014

On the Horizon...

The last few months have been thick with the work of novitiate. Now, I find myself nearing the end of my time in Chicago and headed back to Philadelphia in less than a month.  The time has flown.  It feels like just yesterday, I was returning from winter break and the day before yesterday, I was arriving in the Windy City for eight months of intensive study with three novices from congregations of Sisters of Saint Joseph from around the country.  This time has been blessed. It has given me perspective I didn't have before, has added to this two year process of discernment I am quickly coming to the end of, and has taught me object lessons that have affirmed the path I am on.

The last few months have also been marked by the dawning of new opportunities on the horizon. As I approach the possibility of making first vows in August, I am currently looking for and discerning ministry options. (If you want to know more about this... or have any leads, e-mail me.)  And still, my deep love of and passion for writing continues to make its way to the surface.  Back when I started this blog, I was a young woman who was leaving her job in New York City to pursue a year of service with a group of sisters in Philadelphia.  When I did that, I told myself and those around me that 1) for me, relationship was key, 2) story was/is the gateway into relationship, and 3) that being a writer meant that if I had a pen I could write anywhere and still pursue the deep call I felt to serve.

In the last four years, those points have rung true over and over again.  Staying true to myself and who I am called to be has led me to where I am today.  And, I believe, it is what will leads me forward as I pursue this call and discover where my gifts and passions meet the world's deep needs.  To this end, I have two pieces of news (and publication) I'd like to share with you all:

1) I'll have a piece in the May 2, 2014 issue of Commonweal entitled "Living Witness."  The article, a Last Word feature that I wrote during the first few months of my novitiate, tells the story of when I first came to visit Philadelphia as an inquirer, my fears and hesitations, and what the future of religious life is calling forth from me and us as women religious. 

2)  I'll be taking part in an exciting new project from the National Catholic Reporter.  Earlier this year, I was asked to become a columnist for the Global Sisters Report (GSR). The GSR is a project funded by a grant from the Conrad Hilton Foundation that will work over the next three years to disseminate news and information about Catholic sisters and seek to foster the voices of women religious through "commentary from their perspective."  To this end, I will be writing on a monthly basis as a part of the Horizons column, offering my voice in union with other younger sisters.  The GSR website launched this week and my debut column, entitled "Party of One", will be the inaugural voice of Horizons.

Happy reading as you enjoy these wanderings in Commonweal and the Global Sisters Report! It is a blessing and a privilege for me to be able to share this journey with you all. I hope you enjoy reading as much as I enjoy having the opportunity to write and offer my thoughts.  

Easter blessings as we emerge from the darkness of Holy Week. May we face the light of new life with eyes and hearts open and overflowing, with hope and joy abundant, in all that we do and we are. Amen. Alleluia.


  1. I've found, Colleen, that though we wonder, (We can't help that. It's the way inquiring minds work.) we can be sure God will shine His light on the path we're to take. Around every bend in the road is a new discovery and I always find myself amazed at the way He works. Your path will unfold before you and it'll probably blow your socks off. I find myself going in directions I never thought I'd go....and it's wonderful! God bless!

  2. Hi, Colleen, just wanted to thank you for your piece in Commonweal which led me here. We're about to welcome a new novice on Wednesday the 30th, so it was doubly great to read how it seemed to you as you took the first steps. Looking forward to following your blog and praying for you as you look toward your first vows.