Despite attending Catholic school for nine years, from preschool to 8th grade, I never met any women religious. Even now, as a student at a Catholic college, I have only briefly interacted with the Dominican Sisters affiliated with Aquinas College. I knew the Dominican Sisters were nearby and had helped start Aquinas but not much else.
Going into this project, I was looking forward to personally getting to know one of these women that I was so unfamiliar with.
I was also a little bit nervous about meeting my sister, because I am not very religious. I was raised Catholic and attended Catholic school, so I have a good understanding of the Catholic faith, but I do not consider myself religious now. I was worried it would be hard to connect with someone who has dedicated her life to religion.
Luckily, this wasn’t an issue at all. When I met Sister Mary Catherine, she immediately reached out and took my hand as she led me to our seats. Right away, a lot of my anxiety at meeting someone new was relieved.
As Sister Mary Catherine and I talked about the ministries she had been involved in, she mentioned working at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Kalamazoo as it became a shared parish. She worked there as it transitioned from an English-only church into a community that embraced its English- and Spanish-speaking members. One of my interests is languages, so it was awesome to talk to someone who was a part of an endeavor to include Spanish speakers. Sister Mary Catherine valued this experience as well and said it was something she definitely wanted to talk about in her interview. Finding a topic that fascinates us both has made me excited to learn more about her and her story.