I have been on the path to a spiritual life since I was a 5-year-old kneeling at my bedside to pray every night. I was brought up in a Catholic family, the fifth child of nine, and planned to become a nun when I was 17. However, my life took a different direction when my parents separated during my senior year and divorced five years later. My whole world changed when we moved. During that time, I had many life experiences, some were about life and love, others were exploring new ideas and beliefs. Those years bring memories of great warmth and challenge. I wasn’t afraid to try new perspectives from reformed Judaism to Presbyterian to Methodist, but I did struggle becoming consistently involved with any faith system as a single mom of 3 young children. Then, in 2006, my Mom passed away. I floated aimlessly for 2 years and realized it was time to find a faith community home and tried the Unity church in Crystal Lake, IL.
It was Sunday morning. I was feeling very nervous and unsure. I chose to sit in the last row of chairs nearest the door. It was a celebration Sunday when the minister returned from being ordained the week before. As the service began, I quietly listened with no one nearby until a couple came in and sat down. When it was time to greet those around you, the wife took my hand and said, “Hello, I’m Mary Pat, what is your name?” My jaw dropped. I had never met anyone by the name my mom called me. I sat through the rest of the service in stunned silence. On the walk to my car, a ray of sunlight lit up the smile on my mom’s laughing face in the picture I had hanging from the visor. From that point on, I have been part of Unity.
It has been 11 years with Unity now. I have served in many capacities such as Sunday morning helper, greeter, spontaneous kitchen clean up volunteer, platform assistant, board member, prayer chaplain turned prayer chaplain coordinator/trainer, and youth ministry teacher, always experiencing the urge to become more. In 2017, after completing 250 hours of classes with Unity Worldwide Ministries for the Licensed Unity Teacher certification, I changed lanes to begin, and am currently in the process of, the ministerial program. I strive to be authentic, open, caring, and ready to apply Unity Truths to whatever life brings and I support those who are looking to live life from the perspective of God within them.