Sr. Bea Tiboldi, OP

Sr. Bea Tiboldi

What’s your name?
Sr. Beata Tiboldi OP; I prefer to be called Bea instead of Beata.

That’s an unusual name. Where were you born?
In Budapest, Hungary.

Do you miss it?
Those of us who were born in another country can visit our country every three years. However, nowadays with Facetime, Facebook, and Skype, it’s easier to “visit” more frequently.

Did you go to school in Hungary or in the USA?
In Hungary, I earned a degree in teaching, religion teaching, and computer programming. In the USA, I earned a Masters Degree in Education, as well as Master/Advanced Catechist Certificates in three dioceses. Currently, I’m working toward a Masters Degree in Pastoral Studies.

Why would someone choose to live a vowed religious life nowadays?
It’s really a call… a call from God. So, I guess, I just chose to respond to it. God nudges you into a direction until you discover what your call is. I tried to ignore the call at first, but then it just got “louder”; it kept bugging me until I did something about it. If you hear/feel God’s call, give it a chance and see where it takes you.

How did you know you were following God’s call?
The more I prayed about the call, the more I was filled with peace and, at the same time, I felt more alive.

Did you have to give up your job? 
When I moved into the community, I was encouraged to do something similar to what I used to do so that I wouldn’t have too many new things going on, allowing myself to focus more on discernment. So, at first, I was a teacher, just at a different school from the one I taught at before I moved into community. Once I adjusted to praying communally, following daily routines and living in community, I was more open and ready to be missioned where the greater needs were, and that’s when I studied the ministry I was about to undertake.

How do you feel about going where the greater need is?
I’m cool with it. In a sense, I signed up for this. The vow of obedience helps me to be attentive to God and the needs of the world. The vow of celibacy avails me to be open to go wherever the needs are (without having to worry about leaving my family behind.) When I entered, I was a teacher. Later, I became a Pastoral Associate, and now I am a Vocation Outreach Minister. At times, I’m up for an adventure: as part of the St. Bernard Project, we helped rebuild New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. I learned how to tape, mud, and sand indoor walls, and how to paint outdoor shingles as well. It was fun.

Do you ever get tired of being a Sister?
Never. It’s never boring. It challenges me to do something about my baptismal call, and at the same time, it fills me with great joy. I might get physically tired at the end of the day, but the life of prayer, the peace-making mission, and the joy of community life keep boosting my energy level.

What does your schedule look like?
Instead of going into an hour-by-hour schedule, I would just describe my schedule as a cycle of prayer-study-prayer-community-ministry-prayer. We start the day with God in prayer. Then, we study the news, the needs of our time and the needs of the people we serve, etc. We bring all of these and all our daily concerns to prayer/contemplation, sharing the outcome (fruits of our contemplation) with one another, and then we decide communally how we want to respond to the needs (ministry) with the love of God, and the cycle continues.

That sounds like a lot of work. Do you ever get time to relax?
Yes. Dominican spirituality has four “pillars”: prayer, study, community, and ministry. We strive to live a life that is balanced. I look forward to our evenings when we gather together around the table, share a meal, share stories, laugh together, and then we either have a longer conversation, or watch something together on TV, or play a game. On weekends, I like walking in a park, playing Pictionary, Scrabble or Rummikub, playing mini-golf, or having a “me” day – spending a day in quiet prayer/reflection.

What’s your favorite poem?
Hungarian: “How others see…” by Miklos Radnoti
English: Patient Trust by Teilhard de Chardin, SJ (excerpted from Hearts on Fire)

Thank you.
You’re welcome. If you have any other questions, feel free to email me at btiboldi@oppeace.org