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Meeting St. Josemaria Escriva through St. Catherine of Siena

There are no coincidences that St. Jose Maria Escriva and I share a love for St. Catherine of Siena.

When I discovered that St. Josemaria Escriva chose St. Catherine as the patroness for Opus Dei, I dusted off the cobwebs from the memories where my Dominican journey began over ten years ago in the tiny chapel of Sienna Hall at St. Agnes Academy, St. Dominic School in Memphis, TN. The first daily movements began by leading morning communion services surrounded by Dominican saints.

Little did I know that  St. Catherine quietly called me through the Eucharist to a reflection with St. Jose Maria Escriva that would make an impact for eternity.

Recently, I read one of Escriva’s conversations that illumined the time spent in the chapel- ‘Women in Social Life and in the Life of the Church.’ Since teaching at St. Agnes in Memphis, we’ve lived in Illinois where I became an Associate for the Dominican Sisters of Springfield; then Germany, Switzerland and now Arizona. I briefly taught in IL, and stayed at home during our future moves.

While living abroad, I often missed the closeness to Christ I experienced with my Dominican family in the U.S.  I didn’t hear the promptings of God’s voice in simple daily tasks such as going to the grocery store or learning patience with dryers that didn’t quite dry the clothes.

St. Jose Maria showed me,

“There is an urgent need in the Church to make these people conscious of the sublime value of their lives, to reveal to them that what they are doing, unimportant though it appears, has an eternal value to urge them, to teach them to listen more attentively to the voice of God who speaks to them through everyday events and situations. God is urging the Church to fulfill this task, the task of making the entire world Christian from within, showing that Christ redeemed all mankind.”

He continues speaking to me by saying,

“Women will participate in this task in the ways that are proper to them, both in the home and in other occupations which they carry out, developing their characteristics to the full.”

My life experiences continue to develop my characteristics to the full. God calls me at just the right time- sometimes as a wife, sister, daughter, mother, niece, friend, sometimes as a teacher, sometimes as a philanthropist, now as a writer and ALWAYS as his daughter.

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Teri Nisser

Teri is an “avant-garde” hound of the Lord or more easily stated, a lay Dominican. She and her husband Dan have endeavored new adventures across the US and abroad throughout their 26 years of marriage with their three amazing almost adult children.

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