Dear Our Lady of Mercy family,
My name is Jessica Milburn, and I am the new Director of Religious Education at Our Lady of Mercy. I am honored to be a new member of this parish family and have already felt so welcomed and loved by the OLOM community!
I am a native of Baton Rouge, though it has been quite some time since I’ve lived here. I attended St. Jude the Apostle for grammar school and St. Joseph’s Academy, where I graduated with the much esteemed music director, Ms. Mary Kannenberg. I then went on to study at Louisiana State University, where I received a Bachelor’s of Science in Psychology.
Though I enjoyed studying Psychology, my true passion in college was ministry. After college I followed that passion to Austin, Texas where I interned as a campus minister at the University of Texas. While there, I felt challenged to learn more about doctrines of the faith. This ultimately led me to New Orleans, where I began pursuing a Masters in Theology from Notre Dame Seminary. There, I was blessed to have the opportunity to study alongside our seminarians for a year and a half. My time at Notre Dame truly was invaluable for both my educational and spiritual formation.
With the encouragement of my professors, I put my newfound knowledge of the faith to the test, and I became Religion teacher at St. Mary’s Dominican High School. To be honest, teaching high school was the last thing I ever thought I would do. However, much to my surprise, I grew to love passing on the faith in the classroom. I believe I learned more from my students than perhaps they learned from me, and each one of them, in their own way, captured my heart.
Despite my unexpected love for teaching, I said goodbye to my students this past year, on account of a boy. In the summer of 2015, a gentleman by the name of Bill Milburn surprised me while on vacation in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, and proposed! We were married this past May, and had the opportunity on our honeymoon to receive a blessing from Pope Francis! (Please feel free to ask me about this story–it was one of the highlights of my life!)
Bill’s dream of becoming a lawyer is what ultimately led me back to Baton Rouge–and I am so happy to be home! While praying about this next chapter, I felt I might want to use my knowledge of the faith and love of ministry in a different capacity- to work directly for the Church. Soon after this realization, Mr. Jason Romero gave me a call and promptly planted what I like to call the “OLOM seed” in my heart and mind (I know this seed was planted for many of you as well; we’re all a little bit hooked on OLOM!) The Monday after Divine Mercy Sunday, in the Jubilee year of Mercy, I was offered the job at Our Lady of Mercy as the Director of Religious Education! I took that as a sign of God’s sweet mercy and love for me, and happily accepted!
Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about PSR, RCIC, Sacramental Prep, VBS, or you’re just curious about the new Director of Religious Education I look forward to meeting each of you! God Bless