By Liz Dossa
“We have one solid comfort amidst this little tripping about, our hearts can always be in the same place, centered in God, for whom alone we go forward or stay back.”— Catherine McAuley
Ann Schultz has had a zest for travel and the spirit of adventure, but amidst her “tripping about,” Mercy has had a hold on her heart for many years. She attended Catholic school in Bay City, Michigan and many of her teachers were Sisters of Mercy. “I still have a deep appreciation for my Catholic roots, my Catholic grade school education, and the wonderful priests and Sisters I met along the way who encouraged me to seek a deeper relationship with Christ.”
She left Michigan for her first job as a teacher in Cali, Colombia, South America at one of the private schools for students whose parents wanted them to learn in English. Then the list of jobs included a return to Michigan, a move to the Chicago suburbs, and then the San Francisco Bay Area with a brief stint in the United Arab Emirates.
How did one job, often in computers, lead to another? “There aren’t enough hours in the day to talk about the jobs God has lined up for me,” she said.
Thirty-eight years ago, Ann became a member of Our Lady of Angels parish. OLA led her to Mercy Center where she soaked up the retreats, workshops and especially Taizé prayer. Sister Suzanne Toolan, who brought Taizé to Burlingame and to the West Coast, is a star for her, a Sister she describes as “a delightful person, a welcoming presence.”
She remembers Sister Marilyn King who acted as her spiritual director. “She was somebody I could talk to about what I was going through and would pray for me. She would point out what God was doing for me.” This year Ann was delighted to reconnect when she saw Marilyn’s name as a 60-year jubilarian on the Sistersofmercy.org website. Sister Marilyn has been on staff at the Laura Retreat Center in Kentucky since 1993 and was happy to receive a note from Ann.
Ann also is grateful for learning about meditation and the silent retreat she attended. The East West program and the labyrinth offered a gentle opening to a different spirituality. “I loved the introduction to mindfulness, the Eastern Way of thinking and learning that there are different ways of thinking of God.”
Ann believes Mercy is central to her spirituality. “It is because of my respect and gratitude for the Sisters of Mercy that I am happy to make a donation when I can.”