Frequent Patrons of
Magdalen's Rose and Compass



Allen, Lori submitted April 2002, updated March 2004

Greetings from Indiana. They come to you from someone who is working as a psychotherapist in a community mental health center, and who has many other varied interests.

Singing, playing my 'Zouk and my new Autoharp, painting and drawing, writing, giving presentations on mental health and spirituality, spending time with my daughters and granddaughters, gardening, snuggling with my cats, acting as Adjunct Chaplain at a nearby State Hospital for folks who are mentally ill and/or addicted, cooking for those whom I love, all these activities are things that give me great joy.

My struggles are mundane, not much different than many of yours. Paperwork, housework, sometimes fighting the demon of not feeling "good enough". God is good, and grants reprieves from even these from time to time. I notice this especially when one is in the midst of those who are willing to share the job description of being the hands and feet of Christ in this world that seems so broken, and yet is so full of God's grace and love.


yellow jasmine

yellow jasmine

Allison, Nancy submitted April 2002

I too am a St Bedes/St Sams veteran. I read the FAQ for this list and I think the setup is very sound.

My intro: I live in Belmont, MA, which is a suburb of Boston. I am a technical writer, self-employed, currently between contracts, which is why I'm heading to Quebec to study French intensively. I've spoken schoolgirl French for many years and would like to haul myself up a level in fluency and confidence. I am very much a homebody, so this is a big adventure for me.

I love gardening, everything about it. I dream about owning a house and many acres in the countryside, but realistically, city life suits me now, and I know I would die of loneliness if I suddenly were whisked away to my dream house. Then again, I *would* be able to start planting that orchard …

I am going to try staying subscribed during my trip. I hope to see Susan Hutchinson and any other listsibs who are around Quebec and up for a listmeet.

Amalfitano, Gloriamarie submitted January 2004

My name is Gloriamarie Amalfitano, still something of a hippie. I loved the idealism of the Counter Culture: simplicity, back to the earth, all that stuff. Bought it hook line and sinker and still try to live that way. Hometown: Princeton, NJ where I had a fabulous elementary and high school education. Raised Roman Catholic and my earliest memories are of playing with Jesus outside in the yard. This vividly real sense of His presence faded as I grew older and began to notice what was going on around me. Although I faithfully memorized the Baltimore Catechism Revised Number 2, I still had no clue how to hold on to that sense of Presence. Of course, I was also the poster child for a kid from an extremely dysfunctional family so I dare say that also had an impact. But I really blame it on our move from our rural home into the town of Princeton. All that noise, you see.

Around age 14, I decided I no longer believed in God and started to read philosophy. I did this very systematically, starting with Socrates and Plato and working my way through the Existentialists before I graduated from high school. Went off to Beloit College in 1968, arriving there in time to be horrified by the Democratic Convention that year. I flunked out of Beloit twice, having had no idea that college was any different than high school. Eventually I realized that I had no study habits. The key to learning is the ability to teach one's self and I had never developed that. Once I did though, there has been no stopping me coz I think it is the most fun thing. I enjoy the process of learning so much that I have had to learn to ask myself if the knowledge I am about to acquire is info I really want to have. I have wasted years pursuing something only to find out, once I have mastered it, that it is nothing I enjoy or value and that I was seduced by the joy of learning.

On February 7, 1971 at 12:15 am, my faith revived. I had had a friend at Beloit, David Perry, who was a Christian and we used to have theological discussions. He had come to Princeton to visit me and we were deep in one of those conversations when my roommate came in to tell him everything that was wrong with Christianity. I realized that her understanding of the faith was flawed, so I started to explain to her what it was all about. David just sat there with an odd expression on his face. Eventually she went to bed and David looked at me and said "So, what do you think?" I said "I believe" and was flooded with the sense of the Presence once again.

Sadly this did not last, no matter how faithfully I read my Bible, went to Bible study, read Christian books, hung out with Christians, went to a Christian College, discovered the Episcopal Church and married a Christian man. One of the major influences in my life has been mental illness: Major Depressive Disorder; Post Traumatic Stress Disorder; bit of Anxiety Disorder, a general hodgepodge of brain disorders, I didn't discriminate. I had started therapy when I was 15 and have been in therapy off and on, mostly on, ever since. My marriage failed, I divorced my husband and went to seminary. I selected the one that was geographically closest to me, Gordon Conwell Theological Seminary in Hamilton, MA. I had moved to Ipswich MA in 1974 to finish college at Gordon College in Wenham, MA. My BA is in Biblical and Theological Studies. My MA is Church History, and I am fascinated with the history of the development of Christian spirituality, Although I find anything later than the 14th century to modern and boring.

In seminary the stress of having to support myself while doing brilliantly in my classes was too much and I had a very public meltdown with the end result that I started on anti-depressant meds for the first time. 13 years later I had to accept that those meds do not cure me the way they have cured so many others and I became disabled. However, the combination of my seminary studies, the Book of Common Prayer and anti-depressants did restore to my life that which I hold most dear: a deep and abiding sense of the presence of the Lord. Different, of course, then when I was a toddler playing in the sandbox with Jesus, but precious.

The defining moment of my life was my vision which came to me in April of 1982. We had a new priest at my parish, Christ Church, Hamilton-Wenham, MA named Mark Dyer. He had been a Benedictine monk. In February of that year, he started to teach at Gordon-Conwell. He felt there was a serious lack in their approach to Church History and that was the spiritual experience of Christians in the early and medieval church. He introduced me to contemplative prayer. And I wanted that. I wanted to be a contemplative more than anything. I read, I studied, I absorbed and I approached prayer very differently than I had. I had treated God like my Cosmic Errand Boy, now I sought to make myself receptive to the still small voice. Of course, I was wrapped up in seeking the gifts and not the Giver.

I sat in bed one Saturday morning, drinking coffee and praying Morning Prayer, reading the day's lessons, when I remembered all those times surrounded by people who felt the Lord and heard His voice and how I had cried myself to sleep at night begging Jesus to hold my hand so that I wouldn't feel left all alone.

Suddenly in my shrieking in anger at God, oh yes, I vocalized it!! I heard a Voice who said to me: "Gloriamarie, how could I possibly have held your hand when I hold you in mine?" And on top of it I had a vision of a pair of hands cupped as if to receive the Eucharist and me standing on that fleshy bit just below the fingers, peeping over the top in a Kilroy was here manner. I knew beyond any shadow of a doubt that that is where I live my life, that my truest identity is that I am in the cupped hands of the Lord, that I have always been there and always will be.

To this day, that vision sustains me. I have only had the one vision, but I have never needed another. Oh, certainly I forget, even my non-Christian therapist has figured out that when I get so lost in the Insidious Dark, all she has to do is remind me of that Vision and I begin to come out of the Dark.


Queen Anne's lace

Queen Anne's lace

lady's slipper



Anderson, Cyndy submitted January 2004

I live in extreme south-westernMaine where my mother's family has lived for about 250 years.

I am a Lay Sister in the Episcopal community of the Worker Sisters of the Holy Spirit.

I am 45 and single. I have 2 cats Louganis and Rocky. I have a degree in Culinary Arts, have worked in bookstores, nursing homes as a cook but mostly as a CNA, and in a restaurant as a bartender and dessert chef.

I left work as a CNA (certified nurses aide), sold everything and went back to school in 97-98 (can't remember which one exactly) hoping to eventually return home with a PhD in ageing.I attended the program for experienced learners thru Eckerd College in St. Petersberg, FL majoring in human development (a sort of psych/social work hybrid) and minoring in creative writing. But shortly after I started I had a day surgery before which the anesthesia went badly wrong leaving me with a C3-C7 spinal cord injury. While I can walk and breath on my own (due to incredible prayer warriors some of whom are on this list) I am in constant intense pain on one side and am numb and partly paralysed on the other.

I continued going to school stopping with only my comps left to do to come home to Maine. The meds had started to mess enough with my memory that the 4.0 that had been so easy were next to impossible. Being permanently totally disabled I decided I needed to let go of one dream and try to find another. I'm still trying.

I live in a small historic farm village and county seat of almost 2,000 people. My 1847 house is in the village where everything is within walking distance, library, town hall, corner store, even a restaurant and the county court house. I volunteer at the town library a few hours each week.

I'm a lay reader at my church and was an alternate to the GC with the Maine deputation. I have been active in AIDS ministry locally and nationally, both Episcopal and with the Maine Council of Churches. I am presently on our companion diocese (Haiti) committee and am a rep. to the Maine Council of Churches.

Sister Cyndy died on 28 August 2006.

Anderson, Mary Jane submitted April 2002, updated November 2003 and February 2005

When I began wandering into cyberspace in 1994, I certainly could not have imagined the power the web has to make cyber connections between individuals in the communities I chose to enter and inhabit. The communities I've selected have been influenced by my professional interests: (librarian, now retired), faith interests (Anglican), and private pursuits (genealogical, for the past several years).

I live in St Joseph, Michigan (Diocese of Western MI), worship at St Paul's (350 parishioners, and growing). I moved here about 4 years ago from the Diocese of Chicago, where back in the late 70s I came to the Episcopal church, through confirmation, from a Presbyterian upbringing. Currently I assist with the chalice, serve as lector, and work on the Diocesan Consulting Team. I've attended GCs in 1994, 1997, and 2003 as either deputy or alternate.

I have a thirty-something daughter and son-in-law who live west of me in Iowa City, 5 hours across I 80, door to door. They have two charming (even to strangers) sons, so my trips are fairly frequent, every two months or so. Their parish has been like a second home parish to me since she started college in IC, and stayed on to marry and raise her family. Meg is here in the pub: See Wagner.

I live in a condo in a building erected in the 1920s, on a bluff that overlooks Lake Michigan. There are only 4 condos in the building, and one over our garages, so the apartments are large, with high ceilings, big closets, and all the old built-ins. Lots of nice yard and gardens. Gorgeous view.

St Joseph is a charming small town in a region that depends on fruit growing, tourism, and the Whirlpool Corporation. It's close enough to Chicago that I'm able to indulge in lots and lots and lots of live theatre, which is a major passion. I even travel further for theatre — to New York, to Ann Arbor (where the Royal Shakespeare Co. is in residence now and again), to Niagara on the Lake (for the Shaw Festival next August), to Louisville KY I'm an avid reader of mysteries, history, natural history, biography and an avid listener to books on tape/CD as I travel.

More and more of the trips I'm taking these days are genealogical field trips — to the mountains of West Virginia and western Maryland where ancestors, on both sides of my family, came, settled after their arrival, stayed for a few generations, then moved through the gaps into the new Northwestern Territory; to Xenia, Springfield and Dayton, Ohio; to Henry County, Indiana; to Scott, Polk and Dallas Counties in Iowa. I spent a week in the summer of 2003 in a research library in Ann Arbor, immersed in boxes of the papers of a great great uncle. During the summer of 2004 I met a cousin in a small town in central Florida, where his ancestor, my gg grandfather's brother's family settled in the 1870s. Followed by a visit to Duke to look at the private papers of a WV postmaster, and his daughters...Next on the agenda is a trip to a university library in Missouri, where reside the papers of another ancestor from Civil War days. I spend a lot of time on the computer, working my way through censuses, and other digitized data.

...Oh I have promises to keep, and miles to go before I sleep....

Mary Jane died on 23 May 2006.




Arnold, Chris submitted February 2005

I'm Chris Arnold. I used to be subbed to Magdalen, but left a year or so ago because I needed a break. So I'm back. I've applied for a nursing grad school program in San Francisco, and my wife and I will be moving down there in June (whether I get in or not). I'm a software engineer currently, and living in Seattle with The Missus (we got hitched December 28th, 2004) and Brando, the cat.

Auld, Andrew submitted May 2002

Hi. I'm Andrew. I'm a curmudgeon. I sail, kill things for food, cook pretty decent BBQ, and occasionally go to church. When I do, I go to one of the Anglican persuasion if I have a choice. I'm a cradle Episcopalian in spite of my Grandmother's fervent wish. A couple of fifths Muscogee Creek and a couple of fifths Coon-ass & Welsh. Family is from the upper Gulf Coast. Mainly I'm a grump.

Andrew died on 27 March 2008.

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