Liliana Gomez is just the kind of person the organizers of the National Catholic Sisters Week conference on discernment hoped to attract: passionate about her faith and social justice and open to the idea of religious life as a future path.
The first-year student at St. Mary's University in Winona, Minn., grew up with two younger sisters in a Catholic family in suburban Minneapolis. She describes herself as "super passionate" about her faith and about issues such as immigration and immigrants' rights. She intends to major in elementary education, volunteers with at-risk children and serves on her college's peace and justice committee.
Gomez has even talked with her parents about her options and says they're supportive of the idea that she could become a sister. Still, like many of her peers, she also imagines having a family and "a normal job."
"A dog, the kids in the backyard," she said.
"I'm discerning discerning, if that makes sense," she said. "If I had two lifetimes, I would totally do both."
Gomez was one of about 60 students and sisters who attended the National Catholic Sisters Week kickoff conference March 6-8 at St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minn. Its theme of discernment seems tailor-made for her, with its focus on learning how to negotiate a direction when two paths are equally attractive.