Life has taken me on a circuitous route toward my present ministry. I started out, like so many Dominican Sisters, as a high school teacher. Along the way I began to see how my teaching and my preaching could be practiced in different settings: adult education, spiritual direction, development, chaplaincy and now in prison. I learned that that’s the way it is for many people: we start out paying attention to one thing and then find that our passion takes us in another direction. Or, is it that the things we pay attention to lead us more deeply into our real passion?
Here’s what I’ve found to be my passion: too many people in the U.S. are in prison (currently, that means more than 2.3 million citizens) and too many others are benefiting from this financially! Even if I can’t change that, what I can do is to go inside prison walls and then be a voice for what I see and hear there. That’s what I understand from Matthew’s gospel: “I was…in prison and you visited me.” (25:36) God is there, along with goodness and love, as well as fear and evil. In the end I am the one who’s changed which is the way it always is in ministry.
Do you know what your passion is?
Ruth Poochigian, O.P.