| A sister finds her place on the college campus
Sister Jodi Min, OP, wears a sandwich board to promote fair trade at Saint Mary's College.
SAINT MARY'S COLLEGE/COURTESY PHOTO
It's Jan Term at Saint Mary's College. The campus is quieter: Students and faculty are taking special courses and working on projects that take them away from the Moraga campus for four weeks. In keeping with the college's mission, many will be involved in service projects.
Among those venturing farthest from home will be the party of six headed to South Africa. They'll have an experienced leader. Sister Jodi Min, OP, in her first year at Saint Mary's, is leading a group to South Africa. For the Santa Clara native, it's something of a second homecoming.
Her community, the Dominican Sisters of Oakford, has roots in South Africa. While it was in Santa Clara that Sister Jodi was introduced to the community that would become her own, she spent some time in South Africa in her early days in the community.
Sister Jodi is associate director of the Mission and Ministry Office at Saint Mary's College. She is in charge of the immersion program on the campus, and is the advocate for fair trade.
Sister Jodi's energetic presence, in her distinctive Dominican habit, does not go unnoticed on the Moraga campus. For many of the students, meeting her may be their first encounter with a sister.
That's not lost on Sister Jodi. When one of the Saint Mary's students tells her, "You're the coolest sister I've ever met," she responds "How many have you met?"
Her open-door policy offers students the opportunity to drop by her office and talk about school, family, hopes and dreams. If students are interested in discerning a vocation, "I'm more than happy to be that resource for them," she said.
Sister Jodi was introduced to the Dominican Sisters of Oakford when she was a little girl. The sisters staffed her school, St. Justin in Santa Clara. She graduated from Archbishop Mitty High School in San Jose, and the University of California, Davis.
"I've always had a very close relationship with God, a very personal relationship," she said, "but I never associated it with religious life."
Before coming to Saint Mary's, Sister Jodi held three jobs at one time — serving at St. Francis High School in Mountain View, directing an immersion program sponsored by the sisters; and as vocation promoter for the United States.
She lives in the East Bay, where she maintains the house and technology, and is happy to be working with college students.
On the Moraga campus, she coordinates Catholic Relief Service activities, including Fair Trade Fridays, where coffee is served and chocolate is sampled and sold.
Fair-trade practices include paying a fair wage in the local context and engaging in environmentally sustainable practices.
One of her major responsibilities is coordinating Christian service internships. Locally, this month some students will serve the elderly at St. Mary's Center and the young at St. Martin de Porres School in Oakland, as well as feed the hungry at St. Anthony Dining Room and work with students at De Marillac Academy in San Francisco's Tenderloin.
The trip to South Africa is something of a homecoming for Sister Jodi, who was assigned there during her temporary profession and where she has returned a few times.
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