For 33 years, I have ministered in the field of education. I was an elementary school teacher for eight years, then served as an elementary school principal in Missouri and Iowa for 25 years. Eventually, as the general manager of a consolidated Catholic school system in Iowa, I helped consolidate three Catholic schools under one education council. After I resigned from this position, I began my degree in spirituality at Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska. I obtained my certification as a Spiritual Director and Retreat Director of the Creighton Spirituality Program and began to offer retreat days, escape days and spiritual direction. I am currently a member of Spiritual Directors International.
In doing spiritual leadership work, I began to have a deeper recognition of the holistic dimensions of our being and the importance of meeting our physical as well as spiritual needs. I enrolled in massage therapy training at the Universal College of Healing Arts in Omaha, Nebraska. I remain nationally certified for my massage therapy department. Further studies and working with Leaders and Clients led me to study Eden Energy Medicine and become a Clinical Practitioner.
I share my areas of ministry with sisters in the monastic community and at the Dooley Center, as well as at the Sophia Spirituality Center and in the Atchison region. At the Sophia Spirituality Center, I lead day retreats, silent guided retreats, spiritual direction and offer therapeutic massages, contemplative healing touches and energy works. My desire is to use a holistic approach to health and wellness, integrating body, mind and spirit.
I was inspired by the Benedictine sisters who taught me in elementary and secondary school. I always wanted to be like them. I really felt the call to religious life very early on. As it diminished intermittently, it was God’s continual nudge that prevailed. Yes, I could do all of these ministries as a layman, but I am doing them from a different calling. While I was teaching and being a primary school principal, the image of Jesus, “Let the children come to me” (Luke 18:16) was powerful. I felt called to do these ministries as a Benedictine and a witness to the care that Jesus had for young people.
The Rule of Saint Benedict is truly a holistic approach to life. Benoît discusses our way of being with others, our monastic prayer, our sleep, our meals, welcoming guests and many other elements of life. Benoît’s concern concerned everyone. He takes care of our physical needs, our spiritual growth, the community environment and relationships.
The Rule encourages a balanced life of work and prayer, making arrangements for young and old, for celebration and using our special gifts and talents for the good of others. It is this holistic approach that inspired and trained me. It is because I am a Benedictine that I meet in a unique way my directed, my retreatants, my clients in massage therapy and that I work with the creative energy of God in each person. I believe it is my Benedictine spirit, my intention that distinguishes my ministry. Yes, anyone can do the work that I do, but I do it as a Benedictine sharing the love and grace of God as I can.
It is not always easy, but I do my best to be faithful to the Rule and, as the last line says: “Let us not prefer anything to the love of Christ, and let him lead us all to life. eternal. (Chapter 72: 11-12)