A Little about Me…
I am a devoted black Catholic from the Crescent city! About 4 years ago, I moved to South Bend for a job at Notre Dame. Before this, I received my bachelors from Loyola University of New Orleans in Mass communications. My studies were then followed by two years of service work with Americorps, as a City Year corps member and an in-house academic success coordinator at Boys Hope Girls Hope. I then worked in Loyola’s Mission and Ministry department as their graduate student intern while working toward her master’s in pastoral counseling from Loyola’s Institute of Ministry. I have always had a passion for serving even outside of my work. In fact, .Serving others is core part of her life, and I spent a large part of the past 12 years of my life volunteering my summers at Camp Challenge, a camp for children with cancer and sickle cell, and Camp Pelican, a camp for children with asthma and cystic fibrosis as the director of activities. My love of service continues as a mentor to youth at Transformation Ministries in South Bend, Indiana.
What job brought me from down south to South Bend? I moved from New Orleans, Louisiana to south bend to work in the Campus Ministry department at Notre Dame. I spent the last three years in South Bend as the Assistant Director of Evangelization in Notre Dame’s Campus Ministry department. It is through my work in Campus Ministry that I dove into the Holy Cross mission and found a passion for serving the students of Notre Dame, but my life changed yet again this past summer.
Last summer, I went on a trip to Africa with the Notre Dame folk choir where I co-lead the community in a guided pilgrimage aimed to discover God through seeing our trip as the road to Emmaus. It not only allowed my students to see God in new ways, but it awakened something in me as well. I minister best by building community, walking beside others each day, and preaching to help them see where and how God may be moving in their life in new ways. This confirmed my passion for continuing education in ministry. Now, I plan to get my doctorate in Preaching. In fact, I plan to spend my summer filling out applications. It was quite a large pivot to move from Campus Ministry to the rector position, but I knew it would be the best use of the skills and gifts God gave me to share Christ’s love with the world. My next pivot will be the further my walk with God even more.
My Goal for this Retreat
My goal is to address the question that sits on my heart now is, “where to next?” It has been a rocky year to say the least, and the path the once felt so certain is now blurred. I, now, seek for God’s guidance to find out where he is now calling me to. What graduate program should I be seeking? Is that still what God wants for me? Should I instead be pursuing religious life or another path?
I have a passion for ministry, but I feel particularly called to the aspect of preaching. As a woman of color in the church, I was raised within a very eurocentric perspective of God. Though we spoke of a universal church, I rarely if ever saw it lived out. In a variety of youth conferences and retreats, I searched for a God that not only knew my heart but spoke to the struggles outside the white majority. I wanted to hear someone speak about how God was moving through my cultural and feminine experience.
Particularly in the current political state, I feel called to speak. There are still young black children growing up this church who are seeking for a face and a cultural experience that matches their own. They want to know how their God is moving and working in what seems like a desolate time.
The black community is clearly suffering. We now hear of a justice system called to reform, and a God of justice that is trying to work in the hearts of many whose hearts are hardened to change. As a black minister, I want to be a vessel for the Spirit alive and active in the world today. I have always admired how Dr. King used the scripture to transform the world around him, and I want to do the same. For Dr. King, the call of Jesus was not merely words on a page but a daily call to action. Truly living the gospel in radical ways called him to lead in difficult times that resulted in beatings, jail time, death, and eventually political change. I too hope to be a force for change. I truly believe that Christinaty does not call us to comfort. It calls us to the truth. If we are truly all one body, then the pain of one community should be the concern of each and every member of the church community.In the wake of the death of George Floyd, Breanna Taylor, Ahmed Aubrey, and SO MANY others we need a voice of challenge and one of hope. I think I could be a person to do that. I could aid in bringing light to the darkness and in pushing our church to truly be a reflection of Gods love on earth even when it challenges us to look at where we have failed to truly live as brothers and sisters in Christ.