Hello! My name is Angela (Nevitt) Roesler, and I'm thrilled to be starting graduate studies at ESR in the Fall.
In terms of religious tradition, I am essentially a "cradle Catholic" (although technically I was baptized Methodist... so the "cradle" truth is a tiny bit stretched there!) In any case, my childhood religious formation occurred in the Catholic Church; it was there I had my first communion and confirmation, and it was in the context of Catholic Mass that I fell in love with the Gospel and the ritual of our liturgy. As a pre-teen I became one of the first altar girls in a very conservative diocese in Illinois, and I was very proud of this!! This step represented a small stride in terms of gender equality in Catholic tradition - an opportunity made possible by the work of generations before me (and a fantastic priest) - something I could not fully appreciate as a child, but for which I am very grateful now.
I have been long interested in theological study, and I've investigated several Catholic seminaries over the years but none have felt quite right to me. Just this past Spring, a friend introduced me to ESR, and I simply fell in love. While visiting campus, I sat in on an Intro to New Testament class (where the dynamic was fascinating), and I attended a prayer service where I was struck by the rhythm of the selected readings and hymns followed by the silence - it was powerful and lovely. In the end, one of the reasons I chose ESR was to expose myself regularly to diversity of religious thought and spiritual tradition in an academic setting, and both the class and the prayer service validated a somewhat intangible experience I had been waiting for - the one that told me, "yep, this is the place."
I envision my primary emphasis being in Pastoral Care, with keen interest in connecting spirituality with holistic health-caring. I currently work for the Sisters of St. Francis managing the Oldenburg Franciscan Center where my role is to help implement best business practices to grow and sustain a long-term retreat ministry. I also help develop programs - including our Jungian psychology and compassionate companioning program (the latter being a new project in the works!), and I facilitate spiritual autobiography workshops and a Franciscan film & discussion series.
I am bilingual (Spanish), a poet, a pianist, and above all other things I am the privileged mother of a darling 7 year old son. We both love nature, art, kid adventure movies (especially fantasy & sci-fi), singing, dancing, and I marvel every day at the way his mind develops!
Although I'll be an Access student (from Indianapolis), I look forward to meeting the rest of you and hope to frequently participate in the ESR community in person. I thank the many students and staff who have already reached out to be supportive and welcoming to me! That's been invaluable! I'll see you in the Fall!