Cathy Jaskey is a Loretto Volunteer serving as a staff associate at WATER, the Women's Alliance for Theology, Ethics and Ritual. She recently graduated from Dominican University in River Forest, IL.
What have you been doing at your placement?
I am so lucky to be at WATER with Mary Hunt and Diann Neu, brilliant, inspiring women and amazing models of hospitality and welcome. WATER has a profound huge history, reach and impact, but I would say we have a smaller office than my other housemates. It has been a great blessing to have had the chance to do a wide range of things. WATER really focuses on helping interns grow and get to know the details of running a small non-profit.
What is one thing you love about community living?
After a stressful day, a long day, or a fantastic day, I love coming home and having people here - a committed group of friends to share joys, questions, struggles, and laughter. I love that our community is having companions on this journey.
What has been one surprise, challenge or learning this year?
I think time has been an area of growth for me. It is a much different dynamic than the hectic busyness of college. Finding balance has been a fun experience for me to play with. I don’t have papers to write or tests to worry about. I get to have other joys, spending quality time with my housemates, reading books I’ve always wanted to read (WATER’s library has been beyond a dream come true), and enjoying this new, exciting, and energetic city.
What do you value about your relationship with the Loretto Community?
I value this new home in the Loretto Community. Everyone has been so welcoming and supportive. I am incredibly inspired by the work and lives Loretto sisters and co-members live. It has been a joy to meet with some local sisters in DC whom I deeply admire and hear them tell their stories. I just am in amazement by them. I am struck by these strong, fearless women and by the Loretto sense of sincere openness which is manifested in the valuing of dialogue, new ways of thinking and being, and commitment to peace and justice. Being so welcomed by this community and feeling how tangible Loretto love and inclusivity is, makes me so grateful for this relationship and empowered to work for justice and inclusion in my own life.
What advice do you have for someone considering doing a year of service?
For me this year was a huge leap for me, something I never thought I would have the strength and courage to do. Leaving so many loved ones in Chicago and venturing into the unknown was initially very scary for me. Yet, something pulled me here, some kind of gut feeling. My advice would be to try to listen to what pulls at your heart and not to let fear stop you from taking a big jump. You’d be surprised how fulfilling the new horizons you will see are and how a new community can help you find your wings as you take the leap.
The Loretto Volunteer Program pairs young adults with social justice organizations for a formative year of service. Through meaningful work and communal living, volunteers live out the Loretto Community's mission to work for justice and act for peace - guided by the core values of social justice, community, simplicity and spirituality. Winner of the 2013 Call To Action Leadership Award, the Loretto Volunteer Program proudly prepares young adults to begin lives of public service.
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