I was fortunate to be introduced to the Carmelites at an early age. A close family friend of my parents, Fr. Robert Carroll O. Carm., baptize me and has been present at family gatherings throughout my life from before I could remember. I grew up in Orland Park, IL forty-five minutes southwest of Chicago, where I attended St. Michael’s school from first through eighth grade. I then attended Mount Carmel High School in Chicago because my grandfather and father were both graduates.
It was on my Kairos retreat there that I first heard the call. However, I chose to pretend not to hear it for a while. After high school, I went on to the University of Illinois where I studied Kinesiology. After college, I began working at the Chicago Board of Trade and traded commodity futures for over eight years. I also coached little league baseball, volunteered with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society and participated in many intermural activities throughout these years.
However, I didn’t feel as though I was giving enough and began a much deeper discernment near the end of 2012. In March of 2013 I decided to leave the trading world and entered into the world of financial advising. I believed this would allow me to use the eight and half years of knowledge I had gathered trading to help people secure their future. Then something funny happened. The more I was helping people, the more I wanted to help people.
Ironically money was never very important to me and I knew I was meant for something different, something closer to God. In February of 2014, with the help of Fr. Carroll and Fr. Tony Mazurkiewicz, I attended the Vocations retreat at Carith house and learned where my home truly lay. This occurred to me as I listened to Fr. Jack Welch describe the “Interior Castle.” Theresa says “May you use those gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to.” With Carmel’s help, this is what I intend to do.