Vocations Spotlight: Hillary Kunz

Did you know that there are former Baylor Catholics out there currently pursuing Religious Life? We are going to spotlight three of them in the upcoming weeks. Here is Hillary’s story!


IMG_8471 (2)

 

 

 

The seed of becoming a nun was first planted in my heart when I was going through Confirmation classes at St. Peter’s in Waco in 2011. Fr. Anthony talked to us about nuns being the brides of Christ, and I remember especially loving the idea of wearing a wedding ring symbolizing that complete consecration.  Then I started dating a guy I liked, and I took my dream job working at a camp before taking another dream job working at a nonprofit in Austin, putting off this idea of becoming a nun for about four years. However, the seed that had been planted never died, and it finally reached the point that I had to address this desire within me or I wouldn’t be able to continue my life with peace of mind. After taking off work to hike the Camino de Santiago and visit Fr. Martin, my monk cousin at the Monastero di San Benedetto in Norcia, Italy, it was evident that my heart was longing to seek God in the monastic life. The monks recommended I visit several communities, and after visiting them all it was clear that the Abbey of St. Walburga was a place I could see myself calling home. I felt God’s love there in so many ways, and knew I would regret not returning to the abbey for their three month “live-in” experience.

Those three months were a complete roller coaster. I became very homesick because I’m so close to my family and friends. In fact, I was convinced for the majority of my visit that I would not be returning to St. Walburga’s after the three months were over. I realized during my time there that I could do anything with my life as long as I do it out of love for God, trusting in His Mercy to save me, and that He was not going to force me to be a nun. I found so much freedom in the truth that His will for me is simply for me to humble myself before Him and accept His infinite love and compassion for me, which is wonderful because that’s exactly what we do in the Mass when we confess our sins and receive Him in the Eucharist. From that point onward I knew that He would love me no matter what, whether I decided to be a missionary, raise a family, become a nun, or anything else. However, one week before returning home, on the Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus, He gave me the grace to desire to be a fool for love of Him.  Although I knew I could do many other things and be pleasing to Him, His love impelled me on that day to resolve to return to Him the most love I possibly can with this short life I have, surrendering to Him my entire being through choosing to live by the same evangelical virtues which Jesus Himself embraced; because He is worth it! He loves us so much. So I asked Mother Maria Michael if I could enter the community, and we set the date for Sept. 8, 2015, which is the Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary. Please pray for me, that I will persevere in loving and praising God with my whole being and surrender myself to being guided by the Spirit throughout this life journey.

Advertisements

St. Thomas Aquinas – A Student’s Prayer

By: Elizabeth George, ’11 Baylor Grad blogging on behalf of the Baylor Catholic Alumni Association. Posts every first Friday of every month. Check out the BCAA here.

Exam season is upon us (rather, y’all)! It’s funny how no matter how long it seems that I’m gone, I feel like I can relate to you guys. I’ve just accepted that I’m never really truly going to find myself too far away from St. Peter’s. How can you, when something has been such a large part of your life?

So, I’d like to pass along to “A Student’s Prayer” by St. Thomas Aquinas. Just another little help for finals week. I think my favorite part has to be the part I highlighted at the end.

It reminds us that no matter what we are doing this week – exams, jobs, interviews, work, looking for work, making decisions – that God is never far from us, our decisions, or our journey through life.

“A Student’s Prayer”

Creator of all things,
true source of light and wisdom,
origin of all being,
graciously let a ray of your light penetrate
the darkness of my understanding.

Take from me the double darkness
in which I have been born,
an obscurity of sin and ignorance.

Give me a keen understanding,
a retentive memory, and
the ability to grasp things
correctly and fundamentally.

Grant me the talent
of being exact in my explanations
and the ability to express myself
with thoroughness and charm.

Point out the beginning,
direct the progress,
and help in the completion.

I ask this through
Christ our Lord.
Amen.

 

Baylor’s Best Season of All – Homecoming

By: Elizabeth George, ’11 Baylor Grad blogging on behalf of the Baylor Catholic Alumni Association. Posts every first Friday of every month. Check out the BCAA here.

There’s a reason you can’t stay away from Baylor during Homecoming. I can only assume this because its an opportunity to once again fall in love with the place that has given us – as students, staff or friends – so much. We got our education, made our life long friends, in some cases found our spouses, and transitioned from college students to adults.

Amidst Baylor’s Homecoming activities – the parade, bonfire, football game, pigskin, receptions, etc. – there was something new. This year, St. Peter’s had a Mass on Saturday followed by a dedication ceremony of a statue of St. Peter’s now prominently displayed on the front lawn of the church.

What struck me the most is how many students, staff, FOCUS missionaries, and community members made Mass on Saturday a part of their Homecoming experience. It is as much of a testimony to how much Catholicism, St. Peter’s and faith is also engrained in all of our Baylor experiences. I hope this will soon become a tradition, to have a Mass for alumni be a part of St. Peter’s Homecoming traditions.

Fr. Daniel Liu blessing the statue of St. Peter dedicated in memory of  Lo Oglesby (’10)

Check out more pictures from the dedication of the statue of St. Peter, click here. Don’t forget to “LIKE” the Baylor Catholic Alumni Association on Facebook for updates on all things alumni, events and information on our quarterly e-newsletter.

St. Peter’s Homecoming Activities

By: Elizabeth George, ’11 Baylor Grad blogging on behalf of the Baylor Catholic Alumni Association. Posts every first Friday of every month. Check out the BCAA here.

It’s that time again. Homecoming floats are secretly being built, Pigskin rehearsals are gracing the stage at Waco Hall and Alumni are making plans to return home from Baylor.

In addition to the University’s festivities and in addition to the Homecoming parade, Bonfire lighting and the Homecoming football game, there will be another set of Homecoming activities – St. Peter’s Homecoming.

Whether you’ve graduated three or 30 years ago, whether you went to events at the Newman Center, Baylor Catholic Student Center or St. Peter’s Catholic Student Center, we’d love to see you Homecoming weekend and show you the vibrant community of Catholics we continue to have at Baylor. (For class of 2003, it’s been ten years! I can’t imagine how fast time flies!)

The names of the activities may have changed, we may have added more retreats and changed the way St. Peter’s looks but our mission is the same – to have a place for Catholic students to worship, learn, experience and grow their faith and become leaders in whatever you do.

As of now, our Homecoming activities are as follows:

Continue reading →

Photographs from the Past

By: Elizabeth George, ’11 Baylor Grad blogging on behalf of the Baylor Catholic Alumni Association. Posts every first Friday of every month. Check out the BCAA here.

So, around St. Peter’s, there are newspaper clippings, photos and papers galore from the past. One time, when I was snooping – erm – looking around, I found a folder of all these photos. Can anyone help figure out who these past Baylor Catholics are?

I personally am very interested to know the story behind the “Dishwashing Ninjas” photo in the middle left picture above. Below it looks like some pictures from a very early DiaDelCatholic event and maybe a SPURT, Bear Awakening or New Freshman Retreat?

If you happen to know any of these people, leave a comment or email us at alumni@baylorcatholic.org! Keep checking back for our upcoming Homecoming events on the website or blog.