Monday, August 29, 2011

Meet the Novices:

Christine (Chris) De Anna is a second year novice with the Dominican Sisters of Sparkill.  She was born in Ontario, Canada, and entered the United States in 1986 as a freshman at St. Louis University.  Chris has a passion for learning, and caring for the sick and dying.  She holds a Bachelor degree in both nursing and social work, and a Master degree in social work and public health.  During her first year as a novice, Chris’ ministry was working as a registered nurse, visiting patients in their homes on the north side of St. Louis.  Chris met the Dominican Sisters of Sparkill in 1995, when she became a parishioner of Epiphany of Our Lord parish.  Her journey of discernment has been a growth experience, and one she describes as continuing to build upon the foundation she received from her family.  Chris is grateful for the gift she has been given of spending this year deepening her relationship with God, and discerning with others the call to live one’s vocation as a vowed religious.

Kelly Biddle is a novice with the Dominican Sisters of Houston, Texas. She is a native Texan from the small town of Bridge City, Texas. Kelly has been in discernment of her religious vocation for the last approximately five years. She earned a Ph.D. in plant genetics, worked designing educational computer games at Rice University, spent a year as a Dominican Volunteer in Columbus, Ohio, and, more recently, taught introductory biology and genetics classes It may have taken a long time to figure out where God was leading her, but she did not sit still during the discussion! Kelly comes to St. Louis hoping to deepen her relationship with God and prepare a strong foundation for Dominican Life. It is a chance to fully immerse herself in the Dominican ideals of community, prayer, and study (even if the idea of theology classes gives this hard sciences major some apprehension!) She is grateful to her community for making this year of discernment, self-reflection, and preparation possible, and for all of their prayers and
support during her time here.

Krissie Koll is a first-year novice with the Dominicans of Sinsinawa. She attended Dominican University in River Forest, IL, which is where she met the Sinsinawa community. Krissie has spent time as a Dominican Volunteer in Spokane, WA, directing youth retreats west of Chicago, and serving the youth and young adults at two different parishes near Milwaukee, WI. During this time she became a Lay Associate with Sinsinawa and then felt called to a deeper relationship with these women and more seriously discerned entering the Congregation. She was welcomed as a Candidate and moved to Whitefish Bay, WI to live in community of twelve and then this past August Krissie was received as a Novice. She is entering her Canonical year which brings her to St. Louis to study, minister, become grounded in Dominican Spirituality and Life and deepen her love for God. She hopes the year is filled with blessings and fun times between the classes, workshops and reflection days. She says she is ready for this year and is looking forward to it.