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The Stars Continue to Align

Posted on June 1, 2023, by Claudia Calzetta SL

Photo Courtesy of Maribah Ishaq

During the months from January to June 2022, we were all aware that for one young woman from Pakistan, Maribah Ishaq, prayers were being said that “the stars would align” so she could begin her novitiate in the U.S. As we all know, the stars did align and this dream was about to become reality for both Maribah and Loretto: Maribah was granted a one-year visa, and she received her acceptance into the unique InterCongregational Collaborative Novitiate (ICCN) program in Chicago. ICCN directors Nancy Gerth SCN and Corrina Thomas FSPA are now assisting each novice for her re-entry experience. You may ask what’s next for Maribah as she finishes this program?

On June 6 Maribah will leave the ICCN program. To help her gain as much knowledge as possible about the Loretto Community, given her limited time in the States, Maribah will spend a few days in Denver and El Paso. In both places she will have the opportunity to meet and talk with Loretto Community members and visit Loretto schools and other ministries before she travels back to the Motherhouse in mid-June. On July 3 Maribah will leave for Lahore, Pakistan. When she reaches Lahore, she will begin her second-year novitiate, known as the apostolic year of formation. She will teach part-time at St. Anthony’s School, have daily time for prayer and reading, volunteer at a local site in Lahore and receive guidance from Samina Iqbal, assistant formation director.

Maribah’s InterCongregational Collaborative Novitiate class and Loretto Community members come together at the Motherhouse.
Photo by Donna Mattingly

In her first month in the ICCN program, Maribah wrote, “I reflect on my life, my call. Am I on the right path? I ask myself these questions every day. But when I see God among us and in us, I believe that YES, I am on the right path. Every step of life reveals a new chapter of the story.”

As Maribah steps into her second-year novitiate, we promise her prayers and our love so that the stars will continue to align for her future.


Claudia Calzetta SL

Claudia (she/her) is a Sister of Loretto and has spent many years in varied forms of education — teacher, administrator and campus minister at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. She also spent six years as the Loretto Volunteer part-time coordinator in St. Louis. Claudia retired for approximately one year and recently has returned to this position. She loves gardening, traveling and baking French tarts and pies. She raises funds for Annunciation House in El Paso by selling her delicious desserts. Contact Claudia for more info.
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