Answering God’s Call - Alumnae Help Seniors Understand Vocation

In less than six months, the Class of 2023 will take part in the beloved tradition of the “Walk of the Roses” and graduate from Saint Joseph Academy.
These upperclasswomen will transition from high school to their next calling in life. As a way to help these young women prepare, CORE Ministry member and Department Chair Alison Barberic ’01 and CORE Ministry member Dr. Alex Lopez organized a retreat for the Theology 12 classes to understand the meaning of vocation. Alison worked with Alumnae Director Hannah Hill ’16 to find alumnae, from various backgrounds, career paths and vocations, to share their experiences. 
“As Seniors consider career choices and ways to address the needs of the world, offering them the opportunity to engage with those who once walked in their shoes and roamed the halls of SJA is of great value in their discernment process,” Alison shared. “We hope that hearing about the ways that SJA alumnae embody the Character of a Graduate in their careers, practices, and relationships inspired our Seniors to consider how they, too, can answer God's call to be women of unifying love in the world.”
On November 14, over 100 young women and four alumnae gathered at the Jesuit Retreat Center for a day of reflection and understanding on how to answer God’s call. The alumnae who shared reflections included Associate for the Congregation of St. Joseph Cathy Lanning Knittel '67, Saint Joseph Academy Varsity Golf Head Coach and St. Angela Merici Parish Youth Minister Maureen Fallon Adler '79, Malachi House Executive Director Judy Ghazoul Hilow '81, EMBA, CNM and Cleveland Plain Dealer reporter Molly Walsh '15
  • Cathy Lanning Knittel '67 shared how marriage is her vocation and developing a solid friendship with your spouse is essential to marriage
  • Maureen Fallon Adler '79 shared about being your true self, whether in friendships or choosing career paths and to honor you
  • Judy Ghazoul Hilow '81, EMBA, CNM shared about encouraging students to embrace unexpected changes in their lives and to consider how they can use the gifts they have to give back to others
  • Molly Walsh '15 shared how her passion for sharing people’s stories and “standing up for the underdogs” turned into a career 
“There is truly no greater gift than time dedicated to the students at Saint Joseph Academy,” Hannah shared. “My heart is warm knowing that our girls hear from such powerful, thoughtful and wise alumnae who have great lessons and advice to offer. It’s such a blessing to welcome them back with open arms.”
CORE Ministry offers numerous retreat opportunities throughout the school year for all Saint Joseph Academy students to reflect, pray, listen, learn and deepen their faith. During the summer, students may continue to grow in their faith through serving the “dear neighbor” on service immersion trips. 
If you are interested in becoming more involved with Saint Joseph Academy, please contact Alumnae Director Hannah Hill ’16
Article written by Alison Barberic ’01, Hannah Hill ’16 and Cheryl Arnold