Monday, November 28, 2016


Benedictine Women Service Corps (BWSC), an outreach of Saint Benedict’s Monastery, St. Joseph, Minn., invites College of Saint Benedict alumnae to join the monastic community in deepening relationships that support justice and service in a new location. Volunteers strive to live out the Benedictine Gospel values that were formed during their undergraduate education in a capacity that will challenge them personally, spiritually and professionally.

I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving! I miss seeing all of your smiling faces. I pray that your Thanksgiving was full of love, laughter and great food because I know mine surely was. Thanksgiving morning the sisters and I are sat in the community room and watched the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade. People were laughing, knitting, napping and patiently waiting for the food to be served. Our community room was filled with many guests. Christina Désert, who volunteered two years ago, came all the way from Cambridge, Mass., to spend Thanksgiving with the sisters. They were so excited to see her. After all, she was their very first volunteer. Sister Nancy Bauer also came to visit! She brought her friend Corrin and they seemed to enjoy themselves. On more than one occasion, S. Nancy asked to take my picture. For a brief second, I thought I was famous. However, I was quickly brought back to earth when I was told I would be helping with ALL the Thanksgiving dishes. Let me tell you, washing Thanksgiving dishes was quite the feat.

Even though I longed for mom’s baked mac and cheese and my granny’s sweet potatoes, I was truly blessed to be able to spend Thanksgiving with individuals who I have grown to care for. It was nice being in an environment where there was a representation of what unity looks like. This post-election season has definitely uncovered the large rift that is unfortunately still present in America. What I loved about this past Thanksgiving was that, for one day, it did not matter what political party one represented or background she/he came from. What mattered most were our many blessings.

Shifting gears, I would like to talk about how the month of November has been full of many changes for me. I started my new job at BEACON. I’m really excited because starting December 6, I will be teaching a lower level intermediate English class. As I helped future students register for classes, I tapped into my nearly non-existent Spanish speaking skills. I haven’t spoken Spanish since my senior year of high school. Needless to say, I’m pretty sure I made a few people laugh with my terrible Spanish. Although I have tough skin, I can see why learning English can be very intimidating and discouraging. I’ve heard some Americans say, “You can’t live in the U.S if you don’t know how to speak English.” Or I’ve heard, “I wish those people would just go back to where they came from.” Knowing that there are still people like this in the world pushes me to make sure my students know that I am an ally who supports their efforts in learning another language to achieve a better life. It is important to understand that many immigrants who come to the U.S seek out a better life. I feel it is my duty to ensure that these individuals reach their goals. The world already has enough cynics. What we lack is understanding and compassion. The Beatles had it right when they said: “There's nowhere you can be that isn't where you're meant to be!”

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