Friday, November 12, 2010

Erin does exist :)

What is your name?
Erin Marie Nolan

Where are you from?
This is always the most difficult question for me to answer. The short answer is that I am basically half American and half English. I was born in California but grew up mainly in Europe; in Italy and England. I have also spent significant amounts of time in Amsterdam, Houston, TX and Bosnia. Odd combination I know. My favourite place I have travelled to is Lebanon. It is a truly beautiful country and culture.

How old are you?
I just turned 29 this past October.

When did you enter the Daughters of St. Paul?
I entered the community with Cheryl and Theresa on September 1st, 2010.

Where did you go to school?
Well, since we moved a lot I attended many different schools but for college I went to Rice University in Houston, TX. I graduated from there with a bachelor degree in music. I absolutely loved it there and would highly recommend this school for any of you that are searching for potential universities.

What do you like to do professionally and for fun?
I suppose the answer to both those questions is I love to play music. Before entering I was an orchestral musician working in London. I play the viola and love playing all kinds of music; chamber music, orchestral music, ethnic music, jazz....and I especially love playing music for prayer settings. God gave us such an amazing, rich, and beautiful gift in music and it can be used in such a powerful way as an instrument of his love, his peace, his gentleness, and just simply as an instrument of his presence.
I also love taking walks and enjoying nature. I especially love trees and never cease to be amazed by their beauty, their strength, their variety in color (even when they are all green :), and the detail in each one. I also never cease to appreciate the beauty with which they reflect the sun's light.
What else do I enjoy?... well as my sister says 'we all know that you enjoy a good movie.' This is true, I do very much enjoy movies.
I also just really love people. I love to meet new people, work with people, play music with other people, talk with and get to know people, and get to know different cultures. I suppose that leads me to another thing that I love: travelling.
I also do enjoy reading very much, even though I am a distracted reader which makes me slow. But I do treasure the time I get for spiritual reading. There are many more things but I am sure that I am beginning to bore you so I will leave it there for now.

How did you meet the Daughters of St. Paul?
Well the short answer is actually that I met them through 'Vision' magazine. The longer answer is that I have thought about religious life since I was about 16 but for various reasons it didn't feel like the right time until recently. Over the years I tried my best to give my life to the Lord in whatever situation he placed me in and followed the musical opportunities that came. At the same time I asked the Lord to guide me and to give me the grace and strength to follow whatever path he laid out for me. As the time came when it seemed as though I should discern my vocation more seriously my mother found a Vision magazine and passed it on to me. I must say that while I was excited, I was even more overwhelmed by the number of religious orders there are in existence. I wondered how I could possibly even begin to find out which one might be for me as I could obviously not go visit them all, or even talk to them all. The good thing is that there is an online survey on Vision magazine's website that asks you various questions about your spiritual life and then matches you up with various orders according to their spirituality and mission statement. After completing that survey I decided to start by looking into the first five on the list. The Daughters of St. Paul happened to be number two. I found that as I started to read more on their website, I couldn't stop reading. As I got to know them better I found that being with them, following their life, and learning from them really brought me in to a closer relationship with Jesus and inspired me to want to grow more and to want to bring this gift to others. So a year later, here I am. The Daughters of St. Paul carry with them an amazing spirit of joy that is contagious. They are also beautiful and strong messengers and missionaries of the Gospel and Jesus' presence in the Word. So, if you have a yearning to bring Jesus to others; his love, his joy, and his truth, then I urge you to come and see.

Blessings to you all!

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