Director of Adult Catechesis
Phone: 512-261-8500, ext. 301
In 2009 I joined the Emmaus parish staff as Director of Religious Education. As of July 2011, I began directing my attention primarily toward the ongoing development of Adult Faith through catechesis, Bible studies, guest speakers, and special events. In addition, I will be developing the parish's media outreach ministries and mentoring and collaborating with other members of the Faith Formation staff.
I am a “cradle Catholic” and Texas native from the Dallas-Fort Worth area, where I grew up on a working farm south of Dallas with my wonderful parents and three siblings. I earned B.A. (1979) and M.A. (1989) degrees in Theology at the University of Dallas. My family and I—husband Mike (also a Dallas native), children Bethany (24), David (20), and Susan (15)—moved to Dayton, Ohio from Texas in 2004 so that I could pursue my studies at the University of Dayton, where I was accepted for the doctoral program in theology (completion is pending the dissertation!). Prior to that, I had 25+ years of experience in parish and diocesan catechetical ministry, serving as DRE and liturgy coordinator in three parishes in the Diocese of Fort Worth, coordinating the first Diocesan Synod of Fort Worth, teaching adults in our diocesan lay ministry institute, and presenting talks for many workshops and retreats in the dioceses of Dallas and Fort Worth. I’ve also been a freelance writer since 1995, writing columns for the North Texas Catholic newspaper and contributing to a regular online column on the Sunday Scripture readings for the Catholic News Service, which I am proud to say won a 2009 Catholic Press Award (see http://www.catholicnews.com/word2lif.htm). And most recently, I served as a Director of Children’s Faith Formation at Precious Blood Church in Dayton while completing my doctoral coursework.
My husband Mike, to whom I’ve been married for 34 years, is Midwestern US director of philanthropy for FOCUS (The Fellowship of Catholic University Students), an organization that assists Catholic ministry in higher education through active, student-led, missionary outreach. We moved to north Austin in 2009 and are excited to be back in Texas, as are our family members! We have three children: daughter Susan (19), son David (23), and daughter Bethany (27).
Although I’m still relatively new to Austin, I’m excited about bringing my previous ministry and educational experiences to Emmaus. I’m neither a “liberal” nor a “conservative” Catholic—having grown up with my feet on either side of the Second Vatican Council, I value both the Catholic traditions of my childhood and the ways that the Holy Spirit has renewed the Church through Vatican II. I’m a strong believer in parental involvement and catechesis across generations, so I look forward to collaborating with Fr. Samuel and the parish staff. But most of all, I look forward to what God will be teaching me through the people of Emmaus Lakeway. (Though my Spanish language skills are very rusty, I plan to work on those, too!) I welcome the opportunity to get to know more and more parishioners in our rapidly growing community.