By Julie Tilghman, SNJM Associate
My name is Julie Tilghman, and I am one of the campus ministers at Holy Names Academy in Seattle. I began my ministry at Holy Names in the fall of 2005, and have been an Associate for almost two years. In my current role, I teach World Cultures to ninth graders, and help develop student life programs related to the spiritual life and social justice work of our school.
In recent years, the work that has most animated my spirit is leading our Charism Committee, a dedicated group of 14 teachers who help plan our Charism Week in November, our biannual personnel retreats and our quarterly Charism lunches. Since first walking through the doors of HNA in 2005, I have developed a profound admiration for the work of the Holy Names Sisters. As my Jesuit pastor likes to quip: “The Holy Names Sisters are doing the work that the Jesuits talk about.” The SNJM Charism and work of the Sisters is directly connected to the life and ministry of Jesus and Mary; the Sisters are a direct reflection of the core Gospel values. The Sisters’ dedication to developing the whole person is evident throughout Holy Names, and serves as a guiding light in the ministry of our faculty and staff.
A peak spiritual and professional experience of my 21-year career took place in 2017, when I traveled to Montreal for the “Pilgrimage of the Heart” with Sister Lorna Cooney, SNJM. Alongside 23 other SNJM school representatives, we visited the sacred sites of Blessed Mother Marie Rose’s life. My mind and heart were illumined by the richness of the SNJM tradition. Our group hailed from eight different schools, each of us honoring Mother Marie Rose’s legacy by educating young women of diverse backgrounds, in unique yet common ways. The sense of sisterhood that we felt was surely animated by the spirit of Mother Marie Rose, as our hearts burned with a renewed passion for our unique ministries in the SNJM schools.
I am grateful each day for the gift of the Holy Names Sisters in my life. As a teacher, campus minister, SNJM Associate and a mother of two, I feel profoundly blessed to count myself as a member of this beautiful community.