I grew up in South Bend, Indiana, and discovered the Jesuits and Ignatian Spirituality during my fantastic four years at St. Louis University. From there I joined the Jesuit Volunteer Corps where I spent two years as a volunteer in Woodburn, Oregon. I was deeply formed by JVC’s four values: community, social justice, spirituality, and simplicity; they still inform how I live today. Later, I worked for JVC:Northwest before pursuing theological studies at the Jesuit School of Theology at Berkeley. I graduated with a Master of Divinity (2002) and a Master of Arts in Biblical Languages (2003).
After graduation, I did a year-long Clinical Pastoral Education residency at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center where I continued to work as a hospital chaplain for several years. Since then, I have worked in various parish ministry positions, supervised field education students the Jesuit School of Theology, and wrote a scripture column for BustedHalo.com. I see clients for individual spiritual direction and lead retreats for various groups in the wider Bay Area.
I am the Associate Director of The Pastoral Center, a small pastoral publishing nonprofit which my husband Paul Canavese and I direct. Most of my work hours are spent editing and writing new content for resources such as Advent or Lenten prayer booklets, Stations of the Cross, baptismal preparation, and parent group discussions. My book The Catholic Way, a leader guide for RCIA Directors and adult faith formation, was published in 2018.
Besides my pastoral ministry and parenting our two school-aged girls, I recently began an edible garden consulting business: Alameda Edible Gardening. I enjoy helping others learn to grow more of their own food and to increase food security and sustainability. I strive to stay sane by connecting with others in our neighborhood, coaching girls' softball, bicycling along the San Francisco Bay, and taking naps.