Sr. Colleen Gibson '09, SSJ, Headlines 20th Annual Anne Drummey O’Callaghan Lecture, Oct. 7

Sr. Colleen Gibson '09, SSJ, Headlines 20th Annual Anne Drummey O’Callaghan Lecture, Oct. 7

Photo of Sr. Colleen Gibson, SSJ

Sr. Colleen Gibson '09, SSJ, will present the O'Callaghan Lecture on Women in the Church, on Oct. 7.

In celebration of the 50th Anniversary of women at Fairfield University, the Center for Catholic Studies has invited Class of 2009 valedictorian Sister Colleen Gibson, SSJ, to lecture on the theme of "Showing Up: The Radical Work of Commitment in Uncertain Times.”

On Wednesday, October 7, 2020 at 5 p.m. the 20th Annual Anne Drummey O’Callaghan Lecture on Women in the Church will be delivered as a Zoom webinar by Fairfield University alumna Sr. Colleen Gibson ’09, SSJ. This virtual event is free and open to the public via registration at fairfield.edu/cs.

A Sister of Saint Joseph of Philadelphia, Sr. Gibson currently serves as coordinator of services at the Sisters of Saint Joseph (SSJ) Neighborhood Center in Camden, New Jersey. Her lecture, "Showing Up: The Radical Work of Commitment in Uncertain Times” marks the 20th in an annual series that honors the legacy of Anne Drummey O’Callaghan, a catechist, youth minister, advocate for the intellectually disabled, and director of religious education for the Diocese of Bridgeport.

In her presentation, Sr. Gibson will share her ideas on how, in an age of instability and uncertainty, the call to commitment rings out as a radical invitation to witness to the Gospel call of discipleship. Exploring the purpose and promise of commitment, she will consider the hard work of showing up, the lived reality of women in the church, and the transformative power that “being present” can have on our lives, our world, and our church.  

Author of the blog Wandering in Wonder, Sr. Gibson has been published in Commonweal and America, and is a regular contributor to Give Us This Day, National Catholic Reporter, and the Global Sisters Report website. Her firm belief that each person’s story has the ability to reveal God’s presence in the world directs her efforts to bring people into dialogue with their own personal experiences, the stories of others, and the grace of God at work in the world. Sr. Gibson’s gifts as a speaker and retreat director invite participants to explore issues of call, spirituality, and culture from a distinctly Ignatian perspective.   

Prior to her work at the SSJ Neighborhood Center, Sr. Colleen served as a campus minister at Chestnut Hill College. She has also worked in community development, social services, and pastoral ministry, and she is a proud Fairfield Class of 2009 alumna who majored in American studies and religious studies. In addition to being her class’s valedictorian, Sr. Gibson was also captain of the Stags women’s rugby team.

In a 2013 article in The Atlantic titled "Why Would a Millennial Become a Priest or a Nun?" Sr. Gibson, then in her second year of formal training with the Sisters of Saint Joseph, shared that while an undergraduate student, she “took a quiz on a website” to determine her path forward. She identified some of the aspects of religious life that appealed to her, clicked “send,” and awoke the next morning to 40 emails from various religious orders in her inbox. “It scared me to death,” she said.

Of her commitment to become a nun, Sr. Gibson told The Atlantic, "There's a hunger within people for intentional living and intentional community... that crosses bounds… In bringing faith back to my generation and sharing it with people... It's trying to be in the culture, but not necessarily of the culture."

Sr. Colleen Gibson’s lecture, "Showing Up: The Radical Work of Commitment in Uncertain Times”  is free and open to the public. It will take place on Wednesday, Oct. 7 at 5 p.m. via Zoom webinar. To register to attend, please visit the Center for Catholic Studies webpage at fairfield.edu/cs.

20th Annual Anne Drummey O’Callaghan Lecture on Women in the Church

Date: Wednesday, October 7, 2020
Time: 5 p.m.
Location: Zoom Webinar

Additional Details:

Sponsored by the Center for Catholic Studies, the lecture by Sr. Colleen Gibson '09, SSJ, "Showing Up: The Radical Work of Commitment in Uncertain Times,” is free and open to the public. For more information on this and other upcoming lectures, please visit the Center for Catholic Studies webpage at fairfield.edu/cs.

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Last modified: 09-18-20 1:33 PM

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