By Hannah Dorfman
Before I started my Loretto service, I could not wait to explore community, simple living, and social justice. Spirituality, however, was intimidating. I didn’t know how to define it or how to express it in my life, community, or work. It was the core value that was much less familiar to me, much less tangible. A part of me was nervous to dive into spiritual reflection and cultivate my own spirituality.
Perhaps because of my initial trepidation, spirituality has become the area in which I have experienced the most growth. It sustains me to live simply, relate to others, and do the work for justice. I have come to view my daily routine, my relationships, and my activism through the lens of spirituality. In short, I have learned to find spirituality in the small things.
In my community, I have come to recognize spirituality as the laughter of my housemates, enjoying a home-cooked meal with loves ones, discussing our hopes and dreams, singing and playing music, being there to support one another, and listening with open ears. It’s the practice of coming into being with others—of bringing my full self to the table and noticing how beauty, love, and trust operate in each of my relationships.
In efforts to live simply, I have come to recognize spirituality in taking a walk, listening to music, cooking meals, and meditation. I have learned the importance of slowing down and living with intention, of finding meaning in practices that do not rely on consumption and excess.
In working for justice, I have come to recognize spirituality in connecting with others and standing in solidarity with those threatened by the violent and oppressive policies of the current administration. Through WATER, I have connected with women the world over who, although different, share a vision of equity, justice, and inclusion. Connecting with women at marches, hearing their stories in the WATER office, and coming together for ritual and reflection has instilled in me a feminist spirituality centered on hospitality, intersectionality, friendship, and care of all creation. An activism born of these spiritual convictions is fulfilling, inspiring, and sustains the work that must be done.
This spirituality has, in a sense, been part of me all along. I have merely learned to notice how it blossoms into something new every day.
Hannah Dorfman is from Columbus, OH and graduated in 2015 from Tufts University where she double majored in Religious Studies and American Studies. After graduating college, Hannah was an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer at a community development organization in East Boston. This year she is working at the Women’s Alliance for Theology Ethics and Ritual (WATER) in Silver Spring, MD. Hannah is an ultimate frisbee player, long-time cellist, and finds zen in the kitchen.
In Their Own Words
We invite you to get to know Loretto Volunteers and the program here. Volunteers introduce themselves and reflect on their experiences.