Founder and Editor
As a lifelong pastoral minister, Jennifer is committed to meeting people wherever they are at on their spiritual journey and walking with them at the pace of the Holy Spirit. Over the last twenty years Jennifer has ministered in campus ministry, parishes, and diocesan offices. She is passionate about justice issues, building connections between people, and making a daily effort to grow as a disciple of Jesus Christ. When not active in ministry or maintaining this site, you can find her exploring local parks in and around Chicago, drinking too much coffee, spoiling her niece, and always trying some new baking recipes.
She is grateful to the Senior Contributors who not only share their wisdom as authors on the page, but share their advice and guidance with her on decisions for Wisdom's Dwelling.
Editor and Content Creator - Prayer Corner
Rachelle Kramer recently completed her Doctor of Ministry degree at Catholic Theological Union in Chicago, Illinois. She holds master’s degrees in theology (St. John’s University, Collegeville, Minnesota) and music (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee) and has nearly twenty years of experience leading liturgy and music programs, twelve of those years being in Jesuit higher education. Rachelle has published and presented nationally on topics relating to liturgy, music, youth, and young adults. She has served as the music and liturgy director for the Religious Formation Conference Congress and Youth in Theology and Ministry Program and is the former chair of the Standing Committee for Youth for the National Association of Pastoral Musicians. Her doctoral thesis and research interests center around the holistic development of college students at Catholic Universities.
CLARISSA VALBUENA ALJENTERA
Clarissa Valbuena Aljentera is an author who also works full-time in faith formation. Her first book, ‘The Parish Guide to Social Media,’ was published in 2013 and second book ‘Wonderfully Made” was published in 2019. Her writing has also appeared in America Magazine, Columbia Journalism Review, OSV Newsweekly and Busted Halo. She has a forthcoming essay on raising a Black and Filipino son in the era of Black Lives Matter appearing in an anthology published with ACTA Publications in 2021. She worked for 10 years in newspaper journalism before transitioning into ministry. Clarissa. She spends too much time on Instagram and misses performing improv comedy in Chicago where she lives with her husband and son.
A first-generation Indian-American and convert from Hinduism, Rakhi is a wife and mother who works in ministry at her home parish in Metro Detroit all while trying to keep up with her husband of 11+ years, three young children, a growing creative business, and starting random projects like a fledgling podcast. Her greatest joy is speaking light into darkness and encouraging others to discover their deepest identity as the beloved of God and the beauty and gifts they possess. Rakhi spent many years working in campus and young adult ministry where she had the opportunity to work with the National Catholic Young Adult Ministry Association and the USCCB on a variety of projects.
Rakhi uses the varied pieces of her life as her inspiration as an artist, a writer, and a speaker. When not chasing her children, you can find her singing, dreaming of Italy, hanging out on Instagram, and making beautiful things and messes, all with coffee in hand. Some of her creative work can be found in her Etsy shop, Rakstar Designs. She is also a founding member of Zelie & Co, part of the Voices team for Live Today Well, and a former contributor to Take Up & Read.
ELLEN ROMER NIEMIEC
Ellen Romer Niemiec has a deep love of accompaniment - not only to walk with others but to break and share bread with them. She applied for her Master of Divinity wanting to be a campus minister at an all-girl high school, currently works in adult faith formation and has ministered everywhere in between. She has lived in Dayton, Denver, Boston and is back in Chicago after 10 years away. She loves weekly meal planning under a blanket with a hot cup of coffee and finding every reason to gather people around a table. She loves building a family with her husband and two young children and marveling in the ways God continues to surprise and invite.
RACHEL CONRAD CARLSON
Rachel has been on the search for wonderfully told stories, deep and fascinating conversations, and the exhilarating, true Presence of God in her life for as long as she can remember. From her childhood in Florida immersed in a small Evangelical church to her young adult years spent as a missionary teacher at an international Christian school in Vienna, Austria, Rachel has always desired her life to be an offering that brings God joy. She received undergraduate degrees in Secondary English Education and English & Intercultural Studies with a minor in Biblical studies and her master’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies (Rhetorical Analysis, Identity Studies and International Education). Currently, Rachel loves building a joyous (and often hilarious!) life with her husband Nick, staying home with their one year old daughter, tutoring high school students, and leading women's Bible studies.
CYNTHIA LAMBERT CHESHIRE
Cynthia Lambert Cheshire is a lay minister, consultant, author, speaker, and lecturer with a passion for creating communities of belonging through accompaniment, innovation, and bringing ancient spiritual technologies to modern day needs. She holds a Bachelor’s in Biblical and Theological Studies from North Park University in Chicago, has studied at Boston College and Oxford University, and is currently a PhD candidate at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland, where she learned the hard way that you really can’t walk near Aberdonian seagulls while holding food. Since 2012, she has served Keene State College as the Campus Minister at the Newman Center. You can find her writing on Offbeat Mama, Transformative Works and Cultures, and academic publications.
After living across the country including in Alaska, Cynthia settled down in rural New Hampshire with her husband, two children, and a rotating assortment of animals. When she’s not working, you can usually find her knitting, weaving, or overanalyzing any kind of pop culture.
Pearl Gonzales is a first-generation Filipino American who participated in the RCIA program and completed the sacraments of initiation in 2014. Since then, she has been an active parishioner who has volunteered her time as a member of the Parish Pastoral Council, Faith Formation Commission and the RCIA team. She enjoys cooking, spending time with family and friends, and experimenting with baking recipes.
Ever since high school, Jessica wanted to devout her life to helping youth and their families. Jessica spent 14 years in youth ministry in both Catholic and Protestant churches before switching gears to help at-risk and troubled youth and family intervention. Jessica has committed her life to sitting in the trenches with people no matter the circumstance and helping them find God’s forgiveness, love, peace, hope and joy again. No one is beyond God’s love, forgiveness, and grace. Jessica is passionate about social justice and climate issues, building intimate relationships with people, and growing deeper each day as a disciple of Christ. When not active in ministry you can find her hanging out with her family which includes seven nieces and nephews, exploring the countryside of the small town she lives in, traveling and camping in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, reading, photography, decorating her house, baking/cooking, and lounging by the fire watching Hallmark movies.
Caroline has found herself in many ministries over the years, from helping her grandparents prepare donuts after Mass as a small child, singing in choir and playing the flute, and teaching in Catholic schools for ten years. Caroline received her bachelor’s in elementary education and history from Marquette University. While at Marquette, Caroline was on the Music Ministry Team with Rachelle Kramer. She received her master’s in educational psychology from UW-Madison and is currently pursuing a Certificate in Liturgy through the McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame. Caroline and her husband enjoy traveling throughout the US to visit new basilicas and breweries.
Rose Miola currently serves as mental health clinician and has been working at nonprofits providing mental health and substance use treatment for about 5 years. She received both a Masters of Social Work and a Masters of Theological Studies at Boston College and loves exploring the intersection of mental health, faith and social justice. She has lived in Baltimore, Boston, and rural Colorado, and currently resides in Richmond. Rose is constantly on the lookout for beauty - in nature, in relationships, in city corners. She finds a lot of inspiration in the resilience of her clients, and loves going on adventures with her baby and husband, and spending time at home with her pet rabbit, dog, and cat.
After her transformative years as an undergrad student majoring in Religious Studies and Philosophy, Kathleen felt called to move to China for 3 years working as a lay missioner with the Maryknoll Fathers and Brothers. Her unrelenting questions regarding her Catholic faith, education, culture, and the human condition eventually led her to Catholic Theological Union pursuing a Masters in Systematic Theology. When not steeped in her studies, you can find her biking along the Chicago lakefront, at the community garden, or at Whole Foods rummaging through all the aisles.
BERNADETTE K. RASPANTE
Bernadette loves exploring the experience of women and spirituality through narrative, storytelling, prayer, art, and the reclamation of history. Bernadette is passionate about social justice causes surrounding women, LGBTQIA+ individuals, race, and economics and their intersection with spirituality and worship. Bernadette teaches high school level theology full time, is an adjunct college professor, a spiritual director, retreat leader, and sits on a few boards for church reform groups.
INTERESTED IN CONTRIBUTING?
We welcome a wide variety of voices. As you will see as we continue to post and share women who are from all areas of the Catholic Church, women who are just exploring the question of faith, and women of other faiths will be sharing. While we do wish that we could publish all, we are constrained by editorial needs.
The opinions and articles written reflect the thoughts of the author and not necessarily those of other contributors or any organization or employer affiliated with other contributors and editors of the site.