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The Feast of St. Frances Xavier Cabrini November 13

Cabrini Mission Corps - 20th Reunion
Una Buona Festa!
Beth Priest
Itís hard for me to believe itís been almost 20 years since I first walked into the offices of Cabrini Mission Corps. Back then, the offices were on the third floor of the mansion on the Cabrini College campus. Sr. Lucille met me at the foot of the long, elegant stairway and invited me up to chat. I had no idea that evening that I was about to begin working for an organization I would come to love and value deeply, and with a group of people who, over the course of the next five years, would truly feel like family.

I worked as the administrative assistant at CMC from early 1993 to late summer of 1997. At that point, now fifteen years ago, my husband Dana and I moved to western PA to begin a graduate program in an Anglican seminary in a small post-industrial steel town northwest of Pittsburgh. I had no idea when we moved to Ambridge that we would still be here fifteen years later Ė but then, God often delights in surprises (as my former co-worker Lisa Nolan used to love to remind me)!

With both of us taking classes and working, our degrees took a little longer than we anticipated. I graduated with my Masterís in Theology in 2001, and then we had our daughter Sarah, now nine, in 2002. Over the past fifteen years, Iíve worked a plethora of jobs, including administrative assistant for a local synagogue and for my home parish (jobs where my CMC experience definitely came in handy). Iíve been a book buyer for the seminary library, a teaching assistant and online instructor in Church History for the seminary, and a freelance editor and writer. These days my work combines some teaching for the seminary and Anglican diocese and as much writing as I can squeeze in. I am always looking for more writing and editing work! Iím in the fifth year of homeschooling Sarah (now in fourth grade) and Iím so grateful to the Lord that Iíve been able to find work I can do from home so that I can continue to answer that call.

My family also serves in mission and ministry. Weíve felt called by God to stay put in our small town, a wonderful community that is not without its urban challenges. Over the years weíve worked especially with youth and children. Dana works part-time for the Society of Anglican Missionaries and Senders here in town, but has also done a lot of work with our home parish and other organizations that work with kids. Weíve been involved in VBS programs, childrenís outreach ministries, afterschool programs, and summer arts camps. Right now weíre trying to discern whether or not we can find a viable way to start and keep running an arts ministry with children and youth in our town.

I still feel deeply shaped by my years with Cabrini, and I am so thankful for the formation I received during my time of working with the MSCs and the many gifted missioners I got to know. Mother Cabriniís call to educate the heart still resonates with me deeply in all that I do, or try to do, each day Ė from teaching my daughter to ministering to writing. My dedication to mission has also been nourished by things I learned during my years with Cabrini. I chair my parishís mission committee and have brought a mission-minded focus to our childrenís Sunday School.

Life hasnít always been easy these past years living and working in a small and broken place, but then God doesnít always call us to ease. Jesus promises that in this world we have trouble, but he adds that we can take heart for he has overcome the world! I continue to be inspired by Mother Cabriniís total trust in God, and her energy and vision. I keep her words ďIf itís possible, it can be done. If itís impossible, it must be doneĒ up on my refrigerator, where I can see them every day. Even after all this time, I still feel a part of the Cabrini family.
~ Beth Priest




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