Sr. Virginia Peckham
Hometown: Averill Park, New York
Current placement and ministry: I work with the homeless in the Joseph House Hospitality Room, and also I manage our Representative Payee Program. In addition, I work on grant applications and occasionally teach an art class.
I have found that all my skills and talents have been called upon, and I’ve been stretched in many new ways, too.
This is the most fulfilling time of my life — our work and our prayer time, our training, our retreats have brought me a peaceful heart and ever-growing trust in God.
What did you do before joining the Little Sisters? Grant writer for a health care organization.
When did you start thinking about a religious vocation? After my husband died in 2011. I was married for 23 years.
What attracted you to the Little Sisters? Their ministry to the poor; regular schedule of prayers. And when I met them, they were funny and down to earth, easy to talk to, with big hearts!
What are the most rewarding aspects of religious life? Living and working with people who all desire to be close to Jesus Christ; and the wisdom and support they provide in working with the poor. Also, our ministries are endlessly interesting and heart-expanding!
What are the more challenging aspects of religious life? Remembering people’s names! The temptation to squeeze too many things into a day makes it difficult to “be in the present moment” and be truly attentive to people and to God.
What’s a special memory you have of living in community? Celebrating, especially birthdays; kayaking together.
What’s a special memory you have of ministering to others? In my art class at the Workshop, a man who suffered from acute anxiety was completing a project and he said, “I’m happy, Sister! I feel happy! This has made me happy!”
Is there a passage from Scripture that is especially meaningful to you? “Taste and see the goodness of the Lord” (Psalm 34:9).
What spiritual practices and devotions are important to you? Holy hour and rosary; I’ve benefitted greatly from the Ignatian spiritual exercises while on retreats.
What are your hobbies and special interests? What do you do for fun? Drawing and computer art; playing guitar and singing.