growing up grounded in the four values.

14 07 2011

Katie Haster, the daughter of JVC Northwest’s Executive Director Jeanne Haster, talks about growing up with the four values:

“It is relatively well known by mi familia and by those who work with my mama that she is an avid gardener. And by avid, I mean completely obsessed. But in a healthy, reciprocal sort of way, not in a I’m-thirteen-in-1997-and-can’t-get-enough-of-Leonardo-DiCaprio-in-Titanic sort of way. It’s just how my mom is; she’s very deliberate, focused, and compassionate, and she gives 100% of herself to what she does. With these characteristics, and with my father, she raised and continues to raise my brother and I. (I haven’t introduced myself yet- Hi!! I’m Katie. Ben’s name is Ben). I was not around when the four JVC values became embedded in my mother, but I know that her Catholic upbringing, her undergrad years at Creighton, her time in community as a JV, her transformational years in Guatemala, and her continued education at Maryknoll all had something to do with it. My mom lives these values and carries them out in her life and in her home, like so many of you do who are reading this blog.

Now its time for a little trip down memory lane to look at how the JVC values have been a part of how my mom and my dad have raised my brother and I. SPIRITUALITY. In addition to going to church growing up, we would often have family prayer services. My brother and I would usually organize them, and in the living room we would set up an altar with candles, and we’d pick out a theme for our service and find prayers, usually from one particularly shiny-covered, dog-eared book of earth prayers. Then we’d all gather and pray together, expressing our hopes and our gratitude. In retrospect, this was a sort of double dose of spirituality and empowerment for my brother and I. COMMUNITY. Family dinners- whoda thunk they’d ever be on the American Way of Living’s Extinction List? Mom prioritized family dinners. We would also have family meetings, in which we were all given a voice (ours more easily trumped by the parents, naturally). Our opinions were valued however, and both dinners and meetings had a focus on open communication. SIMPLE LIVING. My mom and dad did not place value in things, fads, ‘must-haves,’ or any form of extravagance. My folks place value rather in our birthdays (Mom made posters and hung balloons and streamers), in coming to my plays and Ben’s games, and in supporting our education. SOCIAL JUSTICE. This is something that has been so ingrained in me thanks to my parents. Leading by example in their selective choices of employment, dad as a religion teacher and mom with JVC Northwest, my parents sought in raising Ben and I to pass on their fire for social justice. Needless to say, they succeeded in raising children who endlessly question and seek justice. And while we don’t always provide mom with the solace that her garden does, we look to emulate her compassion and commitment to social justice.

With that, I would like to welcome all incoming JVs, and give a shout out to second years and FJVs, all to whom the values, in some form or another and to whatever varying degree, are a part of daily life. And to all coming to Orientation in August, we welcome you with open arms!”

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