How would you describe your relationship with Jesus?
Ever-changing and ever-growing. There was a time in my life when I thought that, eventually, I would have the whole “prayer life, relationship with Jesus thing” figured out, and then everything would just be great. No relationship should be stagnant. Through all of the ups and downs, I’ve grown to learn that Jesus always wants more for me and more of me, even (and maybe especially) when I’m reluctant to want more for and give more of myself.
Why are you very active in your parish?
Community is so important. From the beginning of time, God made us for relationship, and in an age where people experience loneliness at epidemic levels, community has never been more needed. As an essentially Christ-centered and intergenerational community, a parish community is uniquely and especially life-giving. I receive so much from my parish community and the relationships that I have formed there, and like any relationship, there has to be a give and take. If I want a strong parish community that enriches my life, I have to be part of forming and caring for that community.
What drew you to serve on your parish’s Pastoral Council and lead the Prayer and Worship Committee?
I was relatively new to my parish when there was a need for several new pastoral committee members. I thought that it might be a good way to meet other parishioners and learn more about my parish, and it certainly was. I eventually transitioned off the Pastoral Council and into leadership of the Prayer and Worship Committee. I’ll be the first to clarify, though, that while I may run the meetings and set the agenda, I spend most of my time learning from the dedicated past and present members.
Why did you become certified as a special needs foster parent earlier this year?
Through the course of my work, I came to meet a number of children, all with special needs, who would live in the hospital for weeks to months because there was nowhere for them to go. I would come home from work angry and sad, and finally I told myself that I either had to let it go or do something about it. I took my thoughts to prayer, and it became very clear what God was asking me to do. Even though I could come up with a million reasons why I shouldn’t or couldn’t become a foster parent, I eventually decided I just had to trust that if God was asking me to do this, he would give me what I needed. And he has. I have been blessed by the most amazing family, friends and parish community who have supported me with everything I could ever need, from furniture and toys to emergency late-night car seat help, to advice from their own experiences of parenting and fostering. I am so humbled by the generosity that surrounds me.
What instrument do you play?
I’ve played the violin since I was 5 years old. When I was very little, my violin teacher taught me that the ability to make music is a gift from God, and that it is a gift that is meant to be shared. Today, I love to share music by playing at my parish, for Brew City Catholic events, with the Wisconsin Intergenerational Orchestra and at living room jam sessions with friends.
What is a Christmas song you really enjoy and why?
I love the song “O Holy Night.” Both the music and the lyrics work beautifully together to bring us a message of life-changing hope, reminding us that God came into the world as a real person at a real time and a real place in history for the sake of our salvation.
What do you want to get better at?
Gardening. I love the satisfaction of growing something to eat or share with others, but, as the solitary fruit of this year’s tomato plant can tell you, I have a lot to learn.