I often say my vocation story has three threads: mathematics, teaching, and Salvatorians. In eighth grade, I discovered mathematics and announced to my family that when I grew up I was going to “go to college and study mathematics.” When I finished high school, I went to Saint Louis University (SLU) and majored in mathematics. After resisting the idea for several years that a girl who studies mathematics should be a teacher, I found myself drawn to a Teacher Corps program in Tampa, Florida, where I fell in love with teaching seventh graders. Then I spent two years with the Peace Corps, teaching math in Ghana, West Africa. In 1975, I returned to SLU from Ghana to continue studying mathematics. I met several Salvatorian Sisters on campus that year, and they invited me to “come and see” their life in Milwaukee. I quickly felt at home in Salvatorian community and visited regularly several times a year for the next three years. In 1979, fresh out of graduate school, I moved to Milwaukee and entered Salvatorian community as a candidate. In that same year, I began teaching at Cardinal Stritch College (now Cardinal Stritch University). I took first vows with the Salvatorian Sisters in 1983, and final vows in 1994. Recent years find me continuing to teach mathematics at Cardinal Stritch, teaching English in Tanzania in the summers, visiting my mom in Delaware, and speaking about our Salvatorian missions at various parishes across the United States. My vocation as a mathematician, a teacher, and a Salvatorian continues to evolve year by year. God’s call and God’s grace have brought me this far, and I trust that God will continue to allow my vocational story to unfold.
By Sr. Barbara Reynolds, SDS