Living Out Her Faith - Katie Press '05

Living Out Her Faith

Alumna Katie Press ’05 is on her way to becoming something that is a little less common for women today. She is working toward becoming a religious sister. Since August, Katie has been living with the Sisters of the Apostles of the Sacred Heart of Jesus in Hamden, Conn. She is known as a postulant, on her eight-year journey to becoming a sister. “In some sense I’ve always felt called to be a sister. Yet hearing this call and understanding what it might mean for my life took a while to realize,” says Katie. “But gradually as I met sisters, starting at Saint Mary’s, and then into graduate school, I began to see the joy they lived out through their vocation.”

The Cincinnati, Ohio, native majored in religious studies (RLST) and minored in anthropology and psychology. She was initially attracted to Saint Mary’s because it was far from home, it snowed in the area, it was a Catholic school, and she could study abroad. But the ultimate turning point for her was a campus visit and spending the weekend with someone who was her complete opposite. “She was involved in Student Government, listened to different music than I did, and was very outgoing and wore tons of makeup. I had such a wonderful time with her,” recalls Katie. “When I left I thought to myself, ‘If I had a good weekend with someone who was so different from me, I will definitely have my own place here.’”

Katie went on to get her Master’s of Divinity degree from Aquinas Institute of Theology this past May. While at Saint Mary’s she was active on campus, leading tours and hosting prospective students, and as a member of the Board of Governance. She also studied abroad in Maynooth, Ireland, a confidence-building experience. “I had a lot of responsibility—budgeting money for food and travel, learning how to live with people from other cultures and backgrounds, and navigating my way through Europe on different trips. I did so much growing up, and saw so much of the world, that I don’t know when else I could have done that in my life,” says Katie.

During her senior year she conducted an independent study for psychology with Professor Carrie Call, where she observed a religion classroom at a local Catholic school. This led to her discovering a method of teaching religion to children, the Catechesis of the Good Shepherd. Also crediting psychology professor Beth O’Connor, Katie says, “I found something that combined my two loves—young children and religion.”

Katie also credits the RLST department for helping her prepare for today. “Saint Mary’s gave me a great passion for learning,” says Katie. “My education at Saint Mary’s gave me the confidence to pursue my master’s degree . . . Now I’m back in the classroom again, taking a psychology course to hopefully attain state certification so I can teach.”

Katie is presently studying the history of her community and what it means to be a sister, as well as participating in the different ministries the Sisters are involved in. “The goal of this year of my life is to deepen my relationship with Jesus. Ultimately, it is to become a better Christian,” says Katie.