Some members of the Network have shared their favourite books, poems, blogs and paintings: click here to see what we’ve been reading and reflecting on.
Rhonda Miska is originally from Middleton, Wisconsin. She holds a MA in Pastoral Ministry from the Boston College School of Theology and Ministry (2011) and an undergraduate degree in International Studies and French from the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point (2002). She served as a Jesuit Volunteer in rural Nicaragua from 2002-2004, as the Social Justice Minister/Hispanic Minister at a Catholic parish from 2004-2008, and as the Community Coordinator of Innisfree Village (a community with adults with intellectual disabilities) from 2008-2014. Her ministry experiences include facilitating Muslim-Christian dialogue, coordinating a homeless shelter, leading re-entry retreats for returned missioners, accompanying migrant children in federal immigration court, teaching workshops on writing as spiritual practice, and facilitating a support group for church workers. She currently serves at the Shalom Spirituality Center in Dubuque, Iowa. Rhonda is a contributor to the book Catholic Women Speak: Bringing Our Gifts to the Table (Paulist Press, 2015). Read Rhonda’s blogs here.
Rachel M Denton is a hermit. She lives “in solitude and silence” in a small Lincolnshire village and has taken a vow to stay in the hermitage for the rest of her life. Her home is St Cuthbert’s House – a hermit of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Nottingham. St Cuthbert’s House was blessed as a hermitage on February 2nd 2002 and Rachel was installed as the hermit. On November 18th 2006, in the presence of Bishop Malcolm McMahon of Nottingham, family, friends and parishioners, Rachel made her solemn profession – vows to live as a hermit for the rest of her life. In order to support herself, Rachel works to commission as a writer and scribe, and offers other print related services. Find out more about Rachel’s life and work here.
Here is a moving reflection posted on Facebook by Nontando Hadebe on her birthday (published here with permission): Thank you dear Facebook community for making my birthday memorable. I loved and appreciated every message sent to me – thank you! It was great to have my father around to reflect on my journey. It is also the 30th anniversary of an unscripted service to two lovers – God and humanity. 30 years ago alone in my bedroom on my birthday I gave my life as a present to God. To my surprise the gift was received and my journey of faith began.
I resigned from my job as Assistant Master of High Court and went to Rosebank Bible College. This was the first stop in my ecumenical journey or visiting extended family as I see it😊. Born into a Catholic home, baptized and confirmed Catholic, I embarked on an ecumenical journey that opened up my horizons and heart to different traditions – Baptist, Anglican/Lutheran and back full circle to Catholic.
All my theological education was done in South Africa(diploma, BTh, Mth and doctorate). I travelled to many parts of the world. I also spent longer periods ranging from 5 months to a year in different parts of USA (LST, NWC, Sojourners, JST Berkeley and Emmanuel College).
I have experienced fullness of life: failure, disappointing others, romantic failures, joy, accomplishments, broken dreams and exciting opportunities. All these experiences have contributed to who I am. I have learnt many lessons: the most important is that love is a verb, a doing word – love does justice, gives and constantly seeks the common good.
I give thanks for people – what would life be without people – all types😊 Yes, there are people who hate, kill and do harm – they challenge us to do the opposite and change society for the better. My passion is to make religion a force for progressive thinking that integrates the best ideas from our traditions, science, technology, human rights, social science to create an environment where life flourishes on every level.
I am excited about present opportunities with groups within and outside Catholic Church; Circle of African Women Theologians, St Augustine College, Kairos, women leadership and interfaith conversations with Najma Khota and RabbiJulia Margolis. Thanks be to God and to all of you for the different ways that you shift, enrich and transform my life. The journey continues.