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A New Beginning for Sr. Kathleen McManus, OP

By Katie Mahon, Communications Manager

This week’s “Embracing Faith” article will focus on Embracing Faith through Ministry.

Embracing Faith Through Ministry

“For nothing will be impossible with God.” -Luke 1:37

For nearly 21 years, Sr. Kathleen McManus, OP, a Sister of Saint Dominic of Blauvelt, New York, has ministered and lived in Portland, Oregon.

In Fall 2000, Sr. Kathleen first arrived in Portland to minister as a Professor of Theology at the University of Portland. Since then, she has taught and participated in service and scholarship.

Sr. Kathleen McManus, OP
Sr. Kathleen McManus, OP

On the most recent episode of the Hearts Afire Podcast, Sr. Kathleen discussed her ministry.

“The campus community was a wonderful community with a strong sense of mission of educating the head, the heart, and the hands. It was a great place to be involved pastorally, as well as academically.”

Along with her ministry at the University of Portland, Sr. Kathleen was also deeply involved in the greater wide Portland community, including the initial formation of her parish and group study of women’s theology, spirituality, and feminist theology.

As enriching as her ministry was in Portland, it became clear to Sr. Kathleen that it was time for a change in the more recent years.

The feeling and change became solidified during a sabbatical year when she had an honorary appointment as a professor on the east coast when she “got to be closer to Blauvelt and my family.”

She added, “it made it feel like it was a call, and that’s what I was waiting for. I knew it was time to come east. It was a mutual discernment.”

Sr. Kathleen hoped that when she returned to the east coast, she would continue to be an independent scholar, finalize her book, and “find ways to serve pastorally as a theologian in the area.”

She had also hoped to continue teaching, and when she returned to the east coast, she had received an invitation to teach at Fordham University.

“Everything worked out. The holy spirit is alive and well.”

Since then, Sr. Kathleen has taught Theology at Fordham’s Lincoln Center campus in Manhattan.

Along with teaching, Sr. Kathleen is also finalizing the upcoming production and release of her book, “Suffering and the Vulnerable Rule of God: A Feminist Epistemology.”

Sr. Kathleen shared that her book “tries to answer the question, what is being revealed through the suffering experience of marginalized people.”

When reflecting on her leaving her former ministry, starting a new ministry, releasing a new book, and moving back to the east coast, Sr. Kathleen called it a “tremendous grace in my life.”

She added, “It’s been such a blessing to be close to family, community, and my mother.”


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