My two brothers and I grew up in the country, just outside of Sanger, California (that’s near Fresno for those who know the area). I’m a cradle Catholic with a large extended family. My parents and relatives are fairly well educated and always encouraged my brothers and me to learn, experiment, create, question, pray, play, and joke around.
I moved into town (Clovis) while I was in college. When I graduated in 2004 I had a desire to leave the Fresno area, but wasn’t sure where I wanted to live. In 2005 my roommate decided she wanted to go to college in Portland, Oregon, so we moved up here on little more than a whim. That whim has proved to be one of the best decisions I have ever made in my life.
I was educated in public schools. From grade school through high school I remember having dedicated teachers who seemed to have had some sort of pact to constantly encourage all us students to go to college, be successful, and to pursue careers we would love. They taught us moral values, critical thinking, and encouraged freedom of expression (which extended even to prayer, though I don’t think they ever explicitly endorsed it).
In college I earned my BA in English, along the way I took many classes in which I wrote poetry, learned that I have a love of linguistic studies, and read English 17th century literature that makes Eminem’s lyrics seem tame.
I seem to have been under the impression that work experience means getting many different experiences. I’ve been a babysitter, tutor, caterer, afterschool program & early learning worker, cashier, newspaper carrier, substitute teacher, receptionist, and I’ve worked for my father in several of his product ventures.
As a child I had a firm belief that following God and the Holy Catholic Church were the two best things I could do with my life, but that conviction did not hold up too well in my teenage years. I have a wonderful mother who, after I spent two years in Confirmation classes, gave me the option to decide for myself whether or not I wanted to be confirmed. I had so many doubts that I wasn’t sure if I wanted to be Catholic, but I did want to give myself incentive to keep trying to find the answers to all my questions. I figured promising that I would be Catholic would motive me to live up to that promise. So, I took St. Thecla as my patron and got confirmed in the Catholic Church.
I think St. Thecla must have worked overtime praying for me for the next five years because my desire to learn more about the Church and to give myself more fully to God seemed to constantly grow. When I graduated from college I found that I had a lot of time on my hands, so I became involved at the Church, and starting looking into religious life. I lived across the street from the Church at the time, which made it very easy for me to go and pray before the Blessed Sacrament.
I met a Sister who offered to be my spiritual director. I found it fortunate that we had an e-mail relationship which did not have to be altered when I moved up to Oregon. The Portland area has perhaps four or five times as many religious orders as the Fresno area, so I was able to visit many communities. I was not entirely sure that I wanted to be a Religious, but when I met the Sisters of St. Mary of Oregon, it was like I fell in love. I just knew that this is what I wanted to do with my life. So, I continued my discernment, and by the grace of God I was able to move into the Motherhouse in February of 2008.
Books My all time favorite book is Jane Eyre, but I need to give honorable mention to Pride and Prejudice, Their Eyes Were Watching God and The Lord of the Rings. I’m also a fan of Thomas Greene, Dave Barry, Ron Koertge, and Edna St. Vincent Millay. My most recent guilty pleasures include The Essential X-men and The Twilight Series.
Movies My favorite movie is The Quiet Man. Some favorites to a lesser extent include Chocolat, Life is Beautiful, The Princess Bride, Lawrence of Arabia, While You Were Sleeping, any Star Wars movie (even episode I if I’m in the right mood), Steel Magnolias, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, Selena, The Trouble With Angels, Beauty and the Beast, and What’s Up Doc? (which is the FUNNIEST movie I have ever seen!)
Television I usually only like certain seasons of shows (e.g. the first three seasons of Gilmore Girls, the first two seasons of The Office), though, I have yet to find a season of Bones that I didn’t like. Plus, What not to Wear and Dog the Bounty Hunter never seem to get old!
Music My theme song right now is In the Light by DC Talk, followed by Hawk Nelson’s Friend Like That, While Again by Jennifer Knapp, and Franco Un-American by No-FX. I also generally enjoy Enya, Metallica, Andre Rieu, Great Big Sea, Lifehouse, Joia Farmer, Matt Maher, Michael W. Smith, Fat Lip Lucy, Shania Twain, CCR, Frank Sinatra, Selena (mostly her Spanish stuff), and Celtic music.