My name is Katie and I am a recent graduate of Saint Louis University. Thus far in my life I have been overly blessed with a beautiful mother, brother, many friends, and a deep desire to work creatively. My brother and I were both theology and art students at Saint Louis University - we share similar passions for theology, art, and social justice and have been very close for as far as I can remember.
Last January, when I joined a community house in North St. Louis with my brother he asked me what I was going to do after I graduate. I said that I was unsure. I said teaching would probably be my only option. He challenged me as I suppose all good siblings do. He said, “Katie, you have been far too blessed to do something that your heart is not deeply passionate about. You don’t have room to be scared or mediocre. You owe something to the world.” My brothers words haunted me and I thought very seriously upon them and the blessings we have had. Since we were little, our mother has taken my brother and I to work with Mother Teresa’s nuns in the inner city. We have had the privilege of knowing Mother’s impoverished friends, sisters, and volunteers for over ten years. As I mentioned before, my brother and I also have had the privilege of living and working in a community house, called Claver House, in North St. Louis. We were taken lovingly into the neighborhood and are deeply supported by the members of the house we live in.
Upon contemplating these things I knew that I deeply desired to go out into the world and be the blessing that I had so generously received. When I began to look into programs Heart’s Home stood out. It seemed that Heart’s Home believed and embodied many of the qualities that I had witnessed when I fell in love with Mother Teresa’s sisters and Claver House. The nuns and the neighborhood have taught me what a beautiful thing it is to be simply present to people. They altered many of my assumptions about what it is to be poor and what it is to suffer. Many of the shut-ins, homeless, and forgotten that I have met were deeply pained not because of hunger or lack of wealth, but because they had no one to be their friend. Hearts Home stood out to me because their charism is compassion. They long to be present and to befriend the dying, the hungry, and the homeless. And similar to my experience at Claver House, they do this through deep prayer lives and strong community.
I will begin my mission this October in India. I am very excited about finding many friends there and experiencing the love of Christ within the Indian culture.