Congregation of Divine Providence
Crane, Texas. I moved around a lot during my childhood and didn’t grow up in one specific place. But that’s where I went to high school and where the church is where my family went.
How long have you been a Catholic? What brought you to the church?
I’ve been Catholic my whole life, but we were never the family that was super involved. But at Texas Tech I went on an “awakening retreat” and that really strengthened my faith. I think it was because I was able to see other people my age who were devoted to the church.
What were you doing before you entered this formation program?
I worked at a bank after graduation and made a lot more money. But I felt called to become a teacher. They needed a 7th grade teacher, and I thought: perfect. I wanted to help the girls in middle school because that’s where I felt the most vulnerable.
What made you begin to consider a religious vocation?
While teaching middle school, I got to talk to the sisters. I remember asking them, “How do you know what you are doing with your life?” They said they were STILL discerning. It blew my mind.
My grandmother was very devoted to the church. When she died I was interested in finding out what it takes to become a nun. I googled it from my cell phone and the VISION Vocation Match website came up first.
What would you tell someone considering a religious vocation but unsure of next steps?
They accept you where you are. I love the “affiliate process” where you can live with the sisters with no commitment and just learn about religious life and see if it works for you and leave if it doesn’t. Knowing you have that freedom, helps you feel that your choice is a true choice.
What surprised you the most about religious life?
I remember when I first met Sister Elsa; she literally parked her moving van and met me for dinner in the city. She and another sister were wearing PANTS! And they had iPhones. That stuck out to me—that these nuns were just like me.
What do you hope to be doing in 10 years? 20?
The big project I want to start is to help write some “bottle bills.” Some states offer reimbursement money for water bottles like with soda cans. Texas isn’t one of them, and I want to change that. I’m passionate about it.
What is your favorite bible verse?
Jeremiah 29:11. The sisters here had it in the guest room. “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” I’m not usually one to remember verses and rattle them off but that one touched me. That was a sign.
What is the last book you read?
The Giver. I was teaching it to a 7th grade class for language arts. It has real connections to the church and society.
What do you do for fun?
I just like to binge-watch shows on Netflix. I’m also trying to learn Mandarin. I like the challenge of not knowing any of the language and learning from scratch.
What would you like to say to the Hilton Foundation, who made this grant possible?
I don’t know how to express how grateful I am. God bless them for seeing that this is a need and doing something about it.