My Evil Twin

About 11 years ago, I found my way back to the Catholic Church and made a lifelong friend in the process, my "evil twin" Jackie. There's a great article about her in this week's Catholic Sentinel, the paper from the Archdiocese of Portland. A wonderful story of a strong woman in the church.

In 1999, Yerby's path brought her to Portland. She had previously lived in Washington, D.C., where she was confirmed at 30 at Holy Trinity Parish.

At that time in her life, she realized how important it was for her to live her faith in the world. She said she decided, thick or thin, through all the things that frustrate her about being a woman in the Catholic Church, it was her church.

"It's important to be involved and serve," she said, "To ask, 'How can I provide you with resources and support so you are able to stand on your own feet and turn around and help someone else?'" When Yerby discovered St. Philip Neri, which would become her home parish in Portland, she also met Sister Susan. They arrived on the parish scene around the same time, were thrown together in their first justice and peace meeting, and within a month were talked into serving as co-chairs of the committee.

For six years the two women were "partners in crime" on various projects at St. Philip Neri, Sister Susan said. During that time, she had many occasions to observe Yerby in her element.

Yerby comes at the world with the idea that she is a child of God, and so is everyone else, she said.

"She finds a way of really being aware of what the church teaches and spending time sitting with that, but also walking in her own integrity and truth, which is hard to do," Sister Susan said.

In that way, Yerby has become a force. She serves not only on the Catholic Charities board of directors, but also the Cascade Aids Project board.

PS - the evil twin bit is all the way at the end

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