About Sister Julia

Hi! I’m Sister Julia! Thanks for stopping by!  

I started up Messy Jesus Business in 2010 when I was a religion teacher at a Catholic high school and needed to reflect on having a constantly messy desk while I taught the Gospel to an exciting group of teenagers. As the meaning of my vocation deepened and my ministries shifted, this website has grown and developed to become a resource center and community full of passionate voices exploring the mystery of faith and the real struggle of taking Jesus and his teachings seriously. 

I’m glad you’re here, and I hope to meet you one day!

Here’s a bit about me…

The official, high-level stuff: 

Sister Julia Walsh is a Franciscan Sister of Perpetual Adoration and part of her congregation’s formation team, serving women who are discerning their religious vocation. Along with another Franciscan Sister, she co-founded The Fireplace, an intentional community and house of hospitality on Chicago’s southside that offers spiritual support to artists and activists. She has a MA in Pastoral Studies from Catholic Theological Union and is a certified spiritual director and secondary teacher. As a creative writer, podcaster, educator, retreat presenter and speaker, she is passionate about exploring the intersection of creativity, spirituality, activism and community life. A regularly published spiritual writer, Sister Julia’s work can be found in publications such as America, Living Faith Catholic Devotional, Global Sisters Report and St. Anthony Messenger and Living City. She enjoys sharing musings on Twitter and Instagram as @JuliaFSPA. Her spiritual memoir, FOR LOVE OF THE BROKEN BODY (Monkfish), is forthcoming in April 2024. 

The low down:

Grew up on a goat farm in Iowa. Former waitress. Is a bit wild, creative, and adventurous. Prefers to travel by train. Has a loud laugh. Believes that fried cheese curds with a pint of Guinness is a well-balanced meal. Prays with poetry. Hugs trees. Sings a little out of tune. Loves cooking vegetarian food for a crowd. Mesmerized by wildflowers and weird animals. Is a survivor of an accident involving a cliff and a creekbed. Is probably wearing a stained or tattered hand-me-down. Loves the smell of fire and freshly baked bread. An outgoing introvert. Can recite all the books of the Bible in order. Visually impaired. Comforted by the presence of books. Splits time between Chicago and La Crosse, Wisconsin. Motivated by food, relationships and a lifelong obsession with Jesus of Nazareth. 

Let’s Connect 

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