2021 Associate Commitments
We Welcome Associate Deborah Barrett!
Deborah Barrett celebrated her associate commitment ceremony with the Presentation community over Zoom on September 8, 2021. Deborah felt called to commit to being an associate through her many years of friendship with Sister Raeleen Sweeney and Associate Virgie Luchsinger. She states, “I experienced the light shining brightly from Nano’s lantern at Community Days in July, where I was inspired, healed and invigorated.” Though Deborah now calls Costa Mesa, California home, she grew up in Bettendorf, Iowa, and feels an affinity for an Iowa-based, Midwestern community.
Deborah teaches Zen awareness meditation and mindfulness at the Zen Center of Orange County. She is also a part-time pastoral counselor in a private practice. She is the conservator and care manager of a special needs adult, Jill, who she considers her family. Past experiences include being an adjunct professor at local colleges, a hospice chaplain, attorney and a high school teacher in West Africa. Deborah holds a juris doctorate in law from DePaul, a master’s degree in theology from Loyola Chicago, and a bachelor’s degree from St. Ambrose College.
Deborah shares, “During this pandemic year, and as my 70th birthday approaches, I have felt called to deepen my Catholic spiritual roots. I believe that this association with the Presentation Sisters will help me to grow in faith. I have a life-long devotion to Teresa of Avila, for her leadership in prayer and to Mother Cabrini, for her ability to create organizations (schools, hospitals, orphanages) to help those in need. I have discovered Nano Nagle and am drawn by a woman walking at night with a lantern, responding to the needs of all she encountered. I believe that regular prayer and dialogue with the sisters and associates in the Presentation community will help me to meet the needs of those I encounter. The commitment to “radical hospitality” resonates with my involvement with the special needs community here in California.”
Deborah states, “As I commit to the challenges ahead, I take courage in Nano’s words: “The best works meet with the greatest crosses. I comfort myself with this thought …” (Letter XVI) We welcome and congratulate Deborah. We have no doubt our lives will be enriched by the many gifts and excitement she brings to the associate program.