I cannot begin to express how grateful I am for the women I have met this year, nor put into words the emotions I feel when I think about how much love I am shown, but I will try. When I first applied to be a Seton Teaching Fellow, I knew community was one of Seton’s driving pillars. I knew that if I said yes, I would be living intentionally with a group of women. The thought of this excited me, but don’t get me wrong, I also had my doubts. What if I wasn’t “Catholic enough”? At the time I believed it, but now I laugh at the fact that I thought faith could be measured, as if 70% meant I was just Catholic enough. Nonetheless, I knew what I wanted.
In retrospect, having heard powerful testimonies from other Fellows on their “call” to join Seton, I had wondered (and perhaps worried) at how simple my story was: Dad shoots a text, I apply, and within a few months, I’m hired. But as I thought more about it, it was the same sort of “no-brainer” call I received that perhaps Peter or Matthew felt when called upon by the strange man from Nazareth: you don’t ask questions, you just do it. Certainly, this trust has been vindicated as the year has gone by, and the Lord has been with me at every surprise twist and turn throughout this mission, just as he has been there for every twist and turn all my life.
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.