I am humbled and excited to join the parish team as the Director of Discipleship Formation. I have been part of the St. Raymond family for more than 25 years. Many of you know my face, though maybe not my name, as I have sung in the choir for most of those years. Others may know me as the Village nurse, a position I held for over a decade here in Mount Prospect. Others still may know my daughters, both of whom attended our school. If we have not yet met, I hope we will soon come together on our journey as missionary disciples.
My discipleship call began long ago, at work, believe it or not, as a newspaper reporter in central Illinois. I began studying and praying, and upon moving back to Mt. Prospect I entered the RCIA process at St. Raymond parish. In 1986, Fr. Loftus wrote my letter of recommendation to theology school, and in 1990 I graduated from Catholic Theological Union in Chicago. I have served as a missionary in Mexico, taught theology in Catholic high schools, and been involved in many ministries throughout my life in different churches. But St. Raymond’s has always been home to me. This parish has always been a forward-thinking community, never shy to try something new, and never afraid to use its many gifts to bring Christ to our community and beyond. That charism is why I am so excited to step into this role.
When I was a missionary in Mexico, the people I worked with could not pronounce my name. They kept calling me “Hill”. I explained hill had another meaning in English. Our little mission happened to sit at the foot of a hill named “Cerro de la Estrella.” When I taught them the word Cerro meant hill in English, I was instantly given the name “Estrella.” Estrella in English means Star. I hope in this new position to live up to my Spanish name and to help form disciples who will create descendants of St Raymond’s, as numerous as the stars in the sky. I ask for your prayers and I will hold you in mine, as we travel together seeking and sharing Christ with all those we meet.