I grew up in Pasadena, CA and graduated from St. Andrews’ High School for girls in 1966. I graduated from the University of San Diego in 1970 with a double major in English and history and pursued a career in journalism, having served as the first woman editor of the campus newspaper, the Vista. I met and married my husband in my senior year of college. We have been active in leadership of the alumni association there for more than 50 years.
I became active in lay ministry in our parish after attending a Marriage Encounter weekend in 1977. We served as Eucharistic ministers and later I ran the parish RCIA program. When we moved to another parish in 1985, I became involved in prison ministry at the local women’s jail and began to pursue a master’s degree in practical theology at USD, graduating in 1990. After working as director of the Office of Human Life and Development at the diocesan pastoral center for 18 months, I became a freelance writer for the National Catholic Reporter. I was hired to run the volunteer services program at Father Joe’s Villages, the country’s largest homeless shelter, in 1993 after helping to launch a regional volunteer- based shelter program, the Interfaith Shelter Network, at local congregations. In 1997, I was hired as executive director of the Interfaith Shelter Network, which had also opened a transitional housing program for homeless battered women with children. I supervised staff, wrote grants and a quarterly newsletter, and became active in a number of advocacy organizations for homeless people locally and statewide. In the summers of 2003, 2004 and 2005, I attended the Summer Preaching Institute at the Aquinas Institute of Theology. Since retirement in 2013, I have served as a member of several non-profit boards and continue to organize the annual Good Friday Walk with the Suffering in downtown San Diego and the La Posada Sin Fronteras at the border fence. I enjoy spending time with our four grown children and nine grandchildren, all of whom live in San Diego.