Mission and Ministry
Alumni Living the Mission

The Collins Family

  • "Laugh and grow strong". - St. Ignatius of Loyola
     
    For our family, Jesuit friends and Jesuit education have been a wellspring of wisdom and inspiration adding to what our parents gave us as a foundation for faith and service. Through the years, each of us has brought Jesuit values home, stimulating amazing dinner table conversations about justice, gender, vulnerability, and finding God in all things.  We have been able to laugh, grow strong, and also challenge and encourage each other on our individual journeys. We try to consider what God is calling each of us to bring to and take from the world.
     
    Kathy:  My experiences in being immersed in Ignatian spirituality and Jesuit approaches to justice in fourteen years in Campus Ministry at Seattle University were transformational.  I loved the opportunity of witnessing weddings of hundreds of wonderful couples in our luminous chapel, of service immersion trips to Belize, Tijuana, and Ecuador with amazing students and staff, and of directing on the Ignatian Silent Retreats.  I have treasured friendships with Bill Sullivan, Roger Gillis, Mike Bayard, Paul Janowiak, and many other Jesuits who have been bright lights in my life, and sources of strength during tough times.  My degree in Transformational Spirituality through STM, while not the most practical degree ever, was certainly the most illuminating.  Bill and I are spending this year in Cochabamba, Bolivia, learning Spanish and volunteering with Maryknoll.  The decision to do this most definitely stemmed from our experiences of Justice lived at Seattle U.
     
    Bill:  In Bolivia, we have time to reflect on ideas we brought along from home.  I brought along from Jesuit education the notion that finding God in all things is central to a life of faith.  Now we are in a world of which we never dreamt.  Like many new adventures, learning Spanish, and learning to live in Latin America, creates a world of very small progressions, a world of new feelings, emotions and thoughts.  We are learning a way to be in solidarity with a community.  Depending on others often puts us in the hands of God.  Here we receive the new information which changes us, caring for each other, all of us weak, receiving the gifts of others.  We are learning again that stories of struggle are also stories of strength.  In our care for people, and theirs for us, we have a way to meet the Lord, to find God in all things.
     
    Sheila:  I graduated with a degree in psychology, and then completed a year with the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, working as a case manager in a shelter for young women in Detroit, MI.  After JVC, I returned to Seattle and moved into the L'Arche community on Capitol Hill.  During my two and a half years at L'Arche, I discovered a passion for working with and advocating for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  I recently completed a master's degree in disability and human development from the University of Illinois at Chicago and continue to work towards improving the rights and experiences of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.  My experiences with Ignatian spirituality have taught me to value living in community, working toward social justice, and finding God in the little things.
     
    Katie:  About a year ago, I began the discernment process for graduate school and began to transition into the new life that I am now living as a graduate student in clinical social work at Smith College Graduate School. During that time, I thought a lot about what has grounded and fulfilled me in the past few years and I kept coming back to the Jesuit values I learned and lived in college and then experienced in a new way through JVC in Yakima, Washington. Simplicity, social justice, community, and spirituality have been strong foundational pillars that I keep coming back to when the world feels like a hectic place and I need to connect with a sense of what is true and good to recharge my batteries. Jesuit education has transformed the way I see the world, the ways I take care of myself, and the way I experience others, gifting me with a phenomenal community of people and a strong sense of the way that God is working in my life and in the world.



  • Katie (Gonzaga, 2008; JVCNW 2008-2009)
    Kathy (Seattle U, 2009)
      Bill (Seattle U Faculty, 2007-2012)
     Sheila (Gonzaga, 2006; JVC 2006-2007)