"My whole life has been dedicated to service," Sister Catherine Gilvary said. "I love my God, and I love my people."
Gilvary, who has served as campus minister at Lycoming College for the last 17 years, soon will be serving other people throughout the Diocese of Scranton.
The life-long educator is leaving her post in Williamsport to work as the diocesan for the diocese full-time. She previously had been working in the position part-time since 1996.
Gilvary, a licensed and nationally certified counselor, has served in a number of positions throughout her career. She said she has been a teacher, a guidance counselor, a dean of students at Marywood University and the spiritual director at the Pocono Spiritual Renewal Center.
Of all of the positions she has had, she said campus ministry was a magnet that just attracted her and noted the kids are big part of the attraction to the ministry.
"Campus ministers are wonderful people because they are in the ministry because they want to be," she said.
"Young people don't let you get away with anything," Gilvary said. "They look for people who are accountable and can hold up their end."
The students have kept her on her toes and have taught her more about life.
"If I don't learn something new from my students every day, I haven't been paying attention," she said, noting the students help her keep a positive attitude about the future.
"They know how to stand up for one another," she said. "They know they can count on one another when they need it."
Gilvary has dedicated much of her life to educating others and got her inspiration to become a nun from the sisters who taught her in school.
"They were great educators," she said. "I looked at them and thought that's what I want to do, something bigger than myself. My life couldn't be all about me."
For her, becoming a sister, cemented the idea that life is much larger than one person.
"It's not all about you," she said. "It's about God's relationship with his people. I'm in love with a God who loves unconditionally."
While Gilvary said her decision to leave was because she was ready for a change of pace, she said leaving Williamsport after 17 years will be difficult because of all of the people she has met through not only the college, but also United Churches of Lycoming County, of which she was a member of the board of directors.
"I've met wonderful people in Williamsport," she said. "I've been born under a lucky star."
"If I don't learn something new from my students every day, I haven't been paying attention."
~ Sister Catherine Gilvary