Twenty years ago, while living in Keene, NH with my daughter, Bridey, where I originate from, I was lifting a patient and sustained a back injury. After two surgeries, over a four year period, I had to give up nursing. At the time of my injury I had also worked part time for the Newman Center as the assistant director. In that position I had attended Notre Dame College, for three weekly summer sessions, as part of a diocesan certificate program in Theology.
So… I took the loss of my nursing career as an opportunity to attend Notre Dame College full time pursuing a Theology Degree. I sold my house, bought a car, filled it up with all my earthly goods, and moved to Joseph House of Prayer in Manchester to attend Notre Dame College. At Ste Marie Church I worked with Fr Bob Couto. When he became pastor at St Jude Church in 1999 he offered me a part time Youth Ministry job and I have been here ever since, but moved into the Religious Education Director’s position ten years ago.
As the Director of Religious Education for 1st grade through 8th grade I over see classes on Sunday in the mornings and late afternoon, and Tuesday afternoons and evenings. There is a Family Program one Sunday a month for youth in 1st -5th grades. Special Needs Youth have classes every other Monday with soup kitchen visits one Monday a month where the youth wait on table. 2nd Grade Retreats, one for First Penance/Reconciliation and one for First Communion, are offered along with Middle School Retreats twice a year at St Anselm College. Children’s Liturgy of the Word takes place at the 10AM Mass twice a month but I am willing to offer it more often with a little more help. Summer Vacation Bible School has been very popular here at St Jude and is offered for the last week of July.
On many occasions I am called to wear a variety of hats so I fill in to arrange funerals, serve as a Special Minister of the Eucharist, Reader and on rare occasions an usher. I am also pretty handy with a plunger and a wet vac.