Reflecting on the past and looking to the future
This fall, as her beloved students mark the return to class, Sister Eileen Enright, RSM, President of Cristo Rey High School Sacramento, is marking a milestone of her own – her jubilee as a Sister of Mercy. “In some ways, I stand back and I think, ‘Can it really be 50 years?'” Sister Eileen reflects. “I’ve taken it day to day, year to year, and to now stand back and look – I realize that it is only through God’s grace that this life is possible. He blesses us every step of the way with what we need.”
For Sister Eileen, the jubilee anniversary offers a time for reflection, gratitude, and humility. “For me, the jubilee means 50 years of professed, consecrated life. I look back and see that it is through great openness and trust that we move forward.”
Throughout the past 50 years, Sister Eileen has served others through her work in the Sacramento region, most notably in education. For 25 years, she served as teacher, principal, and associate superintendent for Catholic schools at the Sacramento Diocese. She then spent 15 years working for Bishop William Weigand, first as director of lay personnel, then as chancellor and director of research and planning.
This year, Sister Eileen begins her sixth year as president of Cristo Rey. Her pride in the school and its students and staff is evident. “This year we have our largest enrollment yet–367 students,” she says. “We are continuing to grow, and we are enjoying this beautiful new campus. We are so grateful to our donors and friends, Mercy Foundation, our board of directors, our staff and to the community for making this possible. It truly takes a village!”
Looking forward, Sister Eileen is introspective. “I am always discerning what God is calling me to in the future. Through prayer and reflection, I trust that the path will become clear.”
For now, Sister Eileen will continue to advocate for the students and staff at Cristo Rey, working to ensure that every possible opportunity is made available to those who work to earn it. And along the way, she will allow herself just a moment to reflect. “There is no way I could have imagined 50 years ago what I would be doing today. I truly stand in awe.”
This piece was originally published in Horizons Fall 2016 issue from The Mercy Foundation.