Meet Karen Wight Hoogheem

by | Oct 7, 2021

For our daughter’s fifteenth birthday, Joel and I purchased three tickets to the Harry Styles concert. We were relieved when the concert, originally scheduled for July 2020, was postponed to September 2021 because of COVID. So, shortly after her sixteenth birthday, my daughter, her close friend, and I made our way to the Xcel Center and joined several thousand other vaccinated (or recently tested “negative”) masked fans for a night I will never forget.

The auditorium buzzed with excitement and joy. Music played over the speakers. People fluttered around the floor and from seat-to-seat. We all screamed when Harry’s voice came over the loudspeaker to thank us for all we did to get to the concert (either getting vaccinated or tested for COVID) and he asked us to please keep our masks on throughout the show. The audience went wild in response to Harry’s mundane request!

And then the lights dimmed. The musicians came on the stage. The music started. Harry came up through the floor on center stage, singing “Golden.” I yelled, “Harrrryyyyyyy!” and danced my heart out. My daughter sang and danced with tears in her eyes. We had waited so long for this night. And we were so relieved that it worked, that we felt safe, and that we got to enjoy music and dancing and great joy with so many other human beings.

That concert happened on September 22 and I am still savoring the joy, warmth, love, and grace from a beautiful night spent with my sweet daughter and her friend. What a blessing in this season of parenting.

Ignatian Spirituality invites us to notice God in our daily lives. In fact, Ignatian Spirituality proclaims that God is in all things! My experience at the Harry Styles concert was a holy one. As I reflect on the joy I experienced, I am surprised to discover that the concert was as holy for me as morning prayer, contemplative walks in the woods, congregational worship, and even acts of service. I am often happily surprised to re-discover and remember the promise that God is in all things.

            I am excited to join the staff at Loyola. I look forward to serving as a spiritual director and hearing how others experience God, Spirit, Divine, and/or the excitement of a deep human connection in “all the things” of their daily lives. What a joy that will be!