Tell us about yourself, your background, and why you are interested in serving.

My immediate reason for applying to serve on the Pastoral Council is my successful treatment for breast cancer and cancer-caused strokes, which have provided me with a perspective that we never know what the future holds and that I, personally, must respond to a call to serve and a commitment to the Church’s social justice teachings and my passion in the here and now, not in some ill-defined future. I see service on the Council as a way to do this.

Our family (me, my husband–Dennis, and our son–Sean, who resides in China) have been parishioners at St. Ignatius since 2013. Dennis and I have had long-standing ties to Jesuit education and spirituality. Dennis’s undergraduate education was at Fordham University in the Bronx and I completed a Master’s Degree in Religious Studies from Regis University in Denver in May 2012. At St. Ignatius before my health problems I was active on the women’s team for the Ignatian Spirituality Project–a ministry to women at risk for homelessness and who are in recovery largely through retreats that minister using the framework of Ignatian spirituality and include witness by women who have attended prior retreats and are incorporating what they experience in their lives, which also include participation in 12 step programs. In our prior parish I was involved with several ministries including serving on the parish school board, the pastoral council and the Archdiocesan Pastoral Council.

I have a Master’s Degree in Public Health and had a 23 year career with the Social Security Administration–entirely in the disability area: policy, legislation, and special projects in the Office of the Commissioner). Subsequent to my retirement from the SSA, I earned a Master’s in Religious Studies (as mentioned) and served as a pastoral care coordinator in a nursing home, including ministry with residents who had dementia (I also volunteered for over 15 years in this ministry in several nursing homes and an inner city parish in Baltimore). I am currently employed at the Maryland Department of Aging where I have had several positions including staffing the state Alzheimer’s and Related Disorders Council, the State Commission on Aging and managing and staffing federal grants–including those designed to serve people living with dementia and their caregivers.

I am very eager to serve. My passions are working with older adults and people with disabilities, especially people living with dementia and their caregivers as well as older adults generally. In addition, I am very interested in intergenerational ministry and how parishioners of all ages may come together in a commitment to ministry and other social justice ministry areas, as well responding to other social justice issues–such as countering demagoguery, and contributing to planning for our parish looking forward.