Catholic Residences

Catholic Studies Women’s House

Posted by Renee, UST Graduate Student, Master of Arts in Catholic Studies
Good morning from the Catholic Studies Women’s House! We just got back from 7 AM Mass and had breakfast together. My name is Renee Burke-Drazba and I am a first year graduate student from Boston, Massachusetts. My roommates are Marisa Wachtel, who is a senior and Abby Saffert and Joan Hendrick, who are sophomores. We go to daily Mass together every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Community life is great! Although we have very different schedules, we get lots of time to hang out and have fun.
There’s no typical day in the Women’s House. Marisa, Abby and Joan all have classes during the day and since I’m a graduate student, all of my classes are in the evening. The one night that we take off is Wednesday night. It is our community night. We rotate each week who cooks dinner-this week, Joan made tacos and Texas sheet cake, which is a super rich chocolate cake with chocolate frosting. Dinner usually gets a little loud because we usually spend more time laughing than eating. After dinner, we pray a rosary together. At the beginning of the year, we wanted to choose a patron saint for our household. We chose Saint Gianna Beretta Molla, the patron saint of the pro-life movement. She was a woman who loved God and showed it by taking care of her family and by committing her daily actions to Him. We are learning more about her life together as a household and pray to her daily.
Between all the homework we have and part time jobs, we always find time to hang out and have fun. We go out for ice cream, watch movies, take trips to Coffee Bené (which is practically across the street!) and spend time with the men who live in the Catholic Studies Men’s House. Tuesday nights we watch Pride and Prejudice at their house and invite people who don’t live in the houses. I just ran my first 5K last weekend at Lake Harriet and although Joan was out of town, Abby and Marisa came to cheer me on! It’s great to know that I live with women who I can rely on, who support me and that I can have fun with.
The house we live in is so warm and cozy. We are so blessed that all the furniture was provided for us. Abby and Joan share a room with a separate office in it and Marisa and I have our own rooms. We have a huge backyard and our neighbors yellow lab, Daisy, has become the unofficial mascot of our house. She barks when we come home and loves attention. We have lots of living space and love to have people over. It’s such a blessing to live in a house that’s practically across the street from campus and it certainly feels more like home than an apartment or dorm.
That’s it for now! Come stop by and say hi if you are ever in the neighborhood. We’d love to see you!

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