Loretto Motherhouse Celebrates Julie Popham’s Co-membership
We could have had a complaint about the overcast sky, but we were distracted by the spectator show nature was providing for the day of celebration. The delicate green leaves coming awake on the trees lining the side of our church watched through the windows as the hour Julie Popham’s co-membership event slowly unfolded. The several Community Groups that had a meeting here swelled the crowd. Julie’s family was well-represented along with cousins and even some grade-school chums: Julie knows how to hold on to friends. The opening song, “All Are Welcome,” was appropriate, and we sang at full volume.
Julie explains how ‘contemplation,’ ‘action’ and ‘community’ fuel her life
Julie’s reflections for her commitment moment were the result of serious prayer and deep convictions, she told us. She then explained how contemplation, action and community fuel her life –
Contemplation: “To be contemplative, I need to stop my superficial mind long enough to go inside, to be with God, to wait for God’s whisper and to see anew the beauty and goodness around me.”
Action: “Mary’s standing at the foot of the cross is real pondering. She is seemingly passive but in reality, she is doing all that can be done when standing at the foot of a Roman cross. She is holding and carrying the tension standing in strength, refusing to give back in kind. She is resisting evil in a very deep way.”
Community: “Already the Loretto Community has comforted me in times of great sorrow, celebrated with me in times of joy, encouraged me in times of doubt and stretched me at times when I really didn’t want to be stretched.”
Julie ended that part of her reflections with “I pray that all of us so let God live in us, that others may feel God, and come to believe in God’s love. I ask the Loretto Community, my family and friends, to gently hold me accountable to these promises.”
At our blessing at the end of the event, we said in part, “Julie, may your journey with Loretto and Loretto’s with you deepen our lives of praise, prayer and service.” After the joy-filled ceremony and supper, we gathered again in the conference room for snacks and drinks. There was a splash of entertainment when Julie and some of the guests displayed some awesome moves to the Twist and Charleston. The time was edging toward 10 o’clock when the last of the party-goers went in search of their beds.
After Julie majored and received a degree in theology at Notre Dame, she went to the University of Kentucky to obtain a degree in internal medicine specializing in rheumatology. She has worked in that field for the past 29 years. She loves her work with veterans at the Newburg VA Health Care Center in Louisville.
The guests were lavish in their praise of Julie. Her sister Cathy said, “Julie is compassionate, loyal, trustworthy and always seeks the humor in life’s situations.” Friend Patricia Geier said, “Julie is compulsively helpful.” President Barbara Nicholas echoed that comment, noting, “The first thing Julie says is ‘tell me how I can help you.’ And she seriously means it.” Johanna Brian said, “Julie is deeply hungry for spirituality.”