Meet Our Newest Affiliates

affiliate mary beth cary portraitAffiliate Mary Beth Cary

Mary Beth Cary, of Kansas City, Missouri, is a secretary for Rockhurst University companioned in affiliation by Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration Georgia Christensen.

Prayer: In her autobiography, Mary Beth shares that prayer is one of the greatest ministries that God blesses us with. Prayer is what nourishes her spirit through finding God “in the moon and the sun, and the flowers and the trees, and the grass and the snow … in the water and the mountains, in the city.” Mary Beth experiences prayer through daily Mass, the Ignatian Spiritual exercises that she has come to value through her work at a Jesuit institution for 33 years, the ritual and tradition of the sacraments and guiding others through RCIA.

Mary Beth shares that she resonates with the joy expressed in FSPA’s Provocative Movements — Relationships, Gospel Living and Unity in Diversity — and truly hopes to live out the commitment to affiliation and to the Gospels through prayer. She is drawn to the structure, traditions and rituals of the Church and has found St. Francis to be another source of prayer and contemplation.

Ministry: Mary Beth is known for her passion for serving and helping others modeled by one of the Jesuit core values of Cura Personalis Care for the Whole Person. She understands that one of the keys to living out her personal ministry of service and relationship is through “bringing the joy of the Gospel to the world today.” She experienced joyful Gospel living through the faith of her mother as well as through the Sisters of Saint Joseph who were her teachers in school.

Community: Mary Beth finds that her church community and her work with students and faculty at Rockhurst University are central to her sense of relationship. She is excited to begin this new relationship with affiliation and the FSPA as another way to live out joyful Gospel living. Mary Beth strives to share the peace of Christ in all that she does and with everyone whom she encounters.

affiliate shatonda jones portraitAffiliate Shatonda Jones

Shatonda Jones, of Grandview, Missouri, is a speech-language pathologist and tenured Associate Professor of Communication Sciences and Disorders at Rockhurst University, companioned in affiliation by Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration Corrina Thomas.

Prayer: Shatonda made her Profession of Faith in the Catholic Church at the Easter Vigil in 2023 and, after studying Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration Thea Bowman’s life, vision for the world and way of being in the world, took Thea as her confirmation name. Shatonda is constantly learning and redefining who she is and is currently studying for a Masters in Pastoral Studies while focusing on Black Catholic Spirituality. Shatonda is known for her embracement of being “contemplative in action,” and she “does it all with joy.” Shatonda’s prayer life is rooted in a consistent love for God, and is said to be “a woman of lively faith who smiles easily, bears suffering with dignity and cares about others.”

Ministry: Shatonda is drawn to the study of faith and pastoral care, but for the majority of her career she has taught and worked as a speech-language pathologist. She shares her “absolute love” for this form of ministry, providing services pro bono to those in need, particularly people without access to health care. Shatonda works with communities of people “who are often not fully accepted,” and has “provided voice” and speech counseling to transgender and gender non-conforming individuals. As her ministry is drawn from a call to justice, she reflects that “I commit to recognizing, upholding and fighting for the validity, value, worth, beauty and ‘oneness’ of faith among all peoples.”

Community: Shatonda, a first-generation college student, finds a sense of community as an educator along with her own identity as a Black woman. She recognizes that the “work of social justice, the place of Black Americans in the Catholic Church, needs each one of us working there.” She is a member of the Knights and Ladies of Peter Claver the only Black Catholic fraternal organization which credits for keeping herself rooted in community with other Black Catholics.

Of Shatonda’s new role as an affiliate, FSPA Director of Affiliation Michael Krueger says, “I was continually awe-struck by her passion, commitment to faith and sense of her own identity. She approaches life with a spirit of gratitude for the opportunity to be able to exist at this moment and to do as Sister Thea said, ‘my little bit.’”

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