• June 18, 2010

Kathleen L. - India- 2010-2011

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.

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