The newly formed Precious Blood Spirituality Institute (PBSI) has a lot to offer to people of faith, says its newly appointed executive director, Vicky Otto. One of the most valuable might be creating a space where people can meet each other in a place where all are valued, all can speak freely about their faith, and all feel accepted as children of God.
“Our first dreams are, how do we begin to look at where we are as a community and as a Church today,” said Otto, who will assume her new role with the PBSI on July 1. “We need a place for people to talk and share stories. We need to talk to the people who are walking away—we want to hear why. We need to help rebuild those relationships.”
Drawing people near is an important part of Precious Blood spirituality, she said: “We as a Church need to have a more welcoming presence. Your local (church) community might be doing quite well, but we need to challenge ourselves to look around and see who’s not there.”
Welcoming those who feel estranged, offering reconciliation to those who suffer from the divisions in our Church and our society, giving ministers a place where they can feel encouraged and enlivened: those are some of the goals of the new institute. Otto will work alongside the PBSI board, made up of representatives from the three founding congregations, the Adorers of the Blood of Christ, the Sisters of the Precious Blood and the Missionaries of the Precious Blood.
Otto, who for the past eight years was the director of Companions (lay associates) for the Missionaries of the Precious Blood, said she will also place a priority on visiting the mission sites of the sponsoring congregations. “I want to reach out to the Adorers and the CPPS sisters to get to know them better,” she said.
She will also be working with the Catholic Theological Union (CTU), which is the host institution of the PBSI at CTU
A native of Tucson, Otto has worked for parishes and for religious congregations. She recently completed her doctor of ministry degree from Fordham University. She also holds an MBA from Golden Gate University in San Francisco.
It will be her mission to promote through the PBSI. “I’ve experienced many forms of spirituality in my life,” she said. “When I was introduced to Precious Blood spirituality, and I met people committed to the Precious Blood way of life, I knew it was what I’d been looking for.”
She describes it as “a sense of hospitality, of inclusion, a knowledge that there is a circle of life and we are committed to ensuring that everyone has a place in that circle. It’s not for a select few; it’s for everyone.”