Q & A with Sr. Judy Morris
What made you pursue the religious life and how long have you served?
While in college I was in search of a vocation, not just a career. The four pillars of the Dominican Order were clearly modeled by the Dominican Sisters who staffed St. Catharine College and Siena College. Prayer, study, community, and service appealed to me as values of a vocational call which became clear to me. As I reflect on that call 44 years later, I remain called to a life of service, prayer, study and community. I believe our church and world need the life that these pillars continue to provide.
How did you become involved with St. Catharine College?
In 1998 I began serving on the St. Catharine College Board of Trustees and am currently serving my fourth term. When invited to serve on the board, I found it an easy yes because I believe in Catholic education, and specifically in the vital role Catholic colleges play in developing future leaders. As a graduate of St. Catharine College and Siena College, I was well prepared to become a teacher and found an emphasis on service an important benefit from those years. While the primary role of a college is to educate students to be competent in their fields, it is vital for colleges to develop leadership skills, critical thinking and a strong sense of service. By saying yes to serving on the board of St. Catharine College, I wanted to support the college’s efforts to develop leaders for the future who will take the mission of the college and the Dominican order to their fields.
What do you think is most important for students currently going through or about to enter college?
For students currently enrolled in college I believe it is important to focus on the pursuit of truth. Whether a discussion focuses on science, religion, politics, or economics, it is important for him/her to explore a wide variety of opinion. Our culture presents many challenges to critical thinking, with sound bites, attack ads and hostile environments for thoughtful discussion. No politician, professor or economist has all the truth. In an ever-increasing uncivil environment in the United States, a student needs to bring a peaceful presence, open mind, critical thought and creative ideas to the classroom and outside the classroom.
Founded in the Dominican tradition in 1931 and sponsored by the Dominican Sisters of Peace, St. Catharine College, a Catholic Dominican college inspired by its founders, welcomes all to the challenging pursuit of truth, preparing them to become critical thinkers, ethical leaders and engaged citizens.