Karen Conlin, SNJM
I celebrate the immense gift of having been born into a family that was harmonious and fun-loving; to parents who supported each of us five children in whatever was our dream. We were all born in Ann Arbor, MI, but moved to Spokane where we attended Sacred Heart School. There we were educated by the Holy Names Sisters who so valued the arts in education. At some point I realized these ideals were congruent with my deepest desires, and knew I would be a sister: I understood that my gifts converged with the Holy Names charism.
In the Novitiate we were grounded in the monastic tradition of living and singing the liturgy, and that experience was profoundly formative for me. After the Juniorate I spent several years teaching classroom music at St. Aloysius and St. Patrick’s in Spokane and St. Anne’s in Seattle. Later, I attained a Masters in Cello Performance from Boston University, and was able to focus on cello performance and teaching. What a great and challenging joy to play for 37 years in the Spokane Symphony. While most of my energy and focus went into performance during those years, I have since come to consider it a privilege to teach cello, and particularly enjoy the young children.
I loved my time in houses of formation. What a challenge and what a blessing to live with people eager to explore what it means to move into apostolic community. It was a remarkable experience to be part of the earnest discussions, intense questions, and profound prayer.
What a blessing to be in a congregation for whom music is integral to communal expression; a community that has so educated my awareness of justice, peace, and spirituality. I have felt supported by my congregation, which honors the arts – not only as the face of God, but as a means to touch deeply the lives of people.
Today my “Life flows on in Endless Song: How Can I Keep from Singing!”