Real Life Project

Attention:  Real Life is calling YOU!

Real life is filled with many the concerns, cares, and joys we feel every day.  It takes a lot of energy to keep them all in balance.

But real life isn't just about juggling those different pieces on a daily basis. It's about connecting them in a way that makes sense...helping us get up in the morning, guiding our daily decisions, and grounding us in the things that matter so we feel whole.

Real Life is a project that aims to give students and faculty the chance to talk together about how to connect all the parts of our lives in a meaningful way. Based in the Center for Spirituality, Real Life takes the ancient, rich idea of vocation, or calling, and brings it into the 21st century. Small groups of students and faculty have conversations over dinner about life, how to keep it balanced, and how to keep it meaningful while fulfilling their calling.  In the words of Fredrick Buechner, we work together to find "the place where your deep gladness and the world's deep hunger meet."

Since 2008, SMC community members have participated in Real Life and loved it!  Here are just a few comments...

"Since the Real Life meetings, I have had a different approach to achieving my goals.  I no longer just follow what my parents tell me to do, but rather I gather advice from my parents, friends, and professors and form my own life decisions."

"I think Real Life made me aware of the discernment processes that are always going on, so I look at decisions (big or small) more deliberately.  What I gained in Real Life gives me confidence as I take the next step in my vocation, because I know I didn't make my decision hastily or without thought."

"My Real Life experiences have helped me to realize that discernment is a lifelong process and that my path might zig-zag and change directions a number of times during my adult life.  I remind myself that I will know what choice is right for me when it feels right."

"The Real Life Project was the best experience I have had at Saint Mary's!"

If you are interested in the Real Life Project, we encourage you to register for Fall 2020. The project begins in the fall semester and has three virtual meeting dates in 2020 (Sept. 23, Oct. 14, and Oct. 28).  Registrations are due by Sept. 11. For more information, contact the Center for Spirituality, 118 Spes Unica Hall, or email Emily Sipos-Butler at