I have been a member of the Secular Franciscan Order since 1988. My husband, David, and I have lived in the in the small rural community of Kirksville, MO, since 1992. We really enjoy the Midwest and our home. We decided to name our home UMBRIA after the Umbrian valley where Saint Francis of Assisi spent many of his hours traveling around and being brother to God’s creatures. The animals at UMBRIA are plentiful. We have cats, turkeys, squirrels, raccoons, deer, foxes, fish, herons, hawks, and many more. I am enamored with nature and find it a pleasure to work at home and look out the window and view God’s creation.
Before moving to the Midwest, I was involved in education. My academic background includes these academic credentials: B.S. in Elementary Education; M.Ed. in Education; M.A. in Pastoral Ministry; and a Ph.D. in Curriculum and Instruction. I was an elementary educator in both the public and Catholic school systems from 1977 to 1986. After nine years, I became a college instructor at Saint Francis College, in Loretto, PA, where I taught methods courses in education and was involved in preparing student teachers.
At the present time, I work as a home-based curriculum consultant. I am privileged to have been involved in the initial development of the Institute for Contemporary Franciscan Life. I served on the ICFL Advisory Board for many years and served as the Institute’s Coordinator from 2001 to 2006. Some other involvements of mine are the following: co-chair with David of the National Formation Commission of the Secular Franciscan Order in the United States; co-chair of the Liturgy Commission at our parish; a committee member involved in developing Franciscan celebrations in our local community; incorporator, president, and board member of the Verneda A. and Leo J. Wachter, Sr. Foundation; Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion; the wife of a Deacon (David was ordained to the Diaconate in December 1999); and the list continues. My real love is to be involved in Catholic Franciscan endeavors. I take seriously my baptismal call to share in the priestly, prophetic and servant identity of Jesus Christ.
Because of my love for my Catholic faith and my educational background, I am really excited to be a companion with you on your journey through this course. I believe that we can share our thoughts, ideas, and feelings and learn from this experience. My prayer for you is that you will find this course interesting, challenging, and most of all, a means to grow closer to God.