During my Junior year of college I went on a retreat called Alabama Awakening. Before Awakening, I didn’t have a relationship with God, but this retreat gave me an understanding of the depth of the Catholic Church as well as God’s love and His loving plan for me. During the two semesters of that year, I dove into this new relationship with God, and was able to rely on Him while dealing with new challenges that were unfolding in my life.
At the beginning of this year of service, I was incredibly excited to have the opportunity to live in a community of Catholic women. Upon moving to New York, I quickly learned that the area of spiritual growth I was most excited about would also be the area I would need to work at the most this year.
In mid-March, I and many of the other Seton Teaching Fellows went on a retreat run by the Seton Teaching Fellows formation team. It was an amazing time.
It was over stretches of the Bronx, Queens, and Long Island interstate highways that I saw memories of the Lord’s mercy to me throughout my time with Seton Teaching Fellows, Brilla Public Charter Schools, and now back with Seton Teaching Fellows as formation manager. I had the delight of accompanying my colleague on a site visit to a Catholic camp in Long Island where our NYC Seton Teaching Fellows attended a weekend discernment retreat in March. It was on our drive back to the Bronx that I realized what a gift it was to even be able to suffer with this mission.
I did not expect to be here. In this city, in this mission. And when I did say yes, it was when the threat of COVID in the States was little more than a rumor. Despite the changes that COVID has brought, I am very grateful to be here now with these children, parents, staff, housemates, and larger community. Yes, COVID has been a time of darkness, but in this year of mission I have witnessed so much joy and resilience in our children that my sense of hope has been sustained.
Coming into this year of mission as a Seton Teaching Fellow took much discernment and a will that was beyond mine. Past experiences, in-person observations, and discerning prayer led to my “yes” to serve as a Pre-K and Kindergarten Theology teacher at Romero Academy at Resurrection (which took me by surprise).