After decades of working with young children, “I wanted to upgrade my ideas, my grasp of theology,” Roach says, to reach adults she was encountering at her parish in Menlo Park.
She loved the graduate program’s assigned readings, especially those of Jesuit theologian Karl Rahner, S.J., whose ideas about the action of the spirit in people’s lives spoke deeply to her. After all, her order’s mission is “to discover and reveal God’s love in the heart of the world through the service of education.”
In classes, Roach was a “great asset,” said Senior Lecturer Sally Vance Trembath. Having joined her order at the age of 17 and taken her final vows in 1963, Roach has lived through vast changes in Catholicism such as Vatican II that the program teaches about. “She could have pontificated, but she never did that,” said Trembath. “She was very much a listener.”
Now Roach wants to find places where people are marginalized, and share her lifetime of faith—and her newfound knowledge—with them. She can also be a role model for lifelong learning. Staying educated, she says, “is growth on my part.”