Karen Skalitzky is a speaker, writer, and spiritual director. A former educator, she has over twenty years of experience transforming underperforming schools into the kind of schools all children deserve. She believes we can find the sacred in everything and everyone, in any moment and any place. Her first book, A Recipe for Hope: Stories of Transformation by People Experiencing Homelessness, was featured on WGN-TV. Her essays have appeared in U.S.Catholic, Brain, Child: The Magazine for Thinking Mothers, and Northwestern Magazine. A graduate of Northwestern University, Karen lives in Chicago with her son. Her monthly column, GodisBig Reflections, is read across the country. Read more
“You are an excellent presenter: lively, engaging, gentle and authentic.”Chicago Area Spiritual Directors
Stories are my currency. My flow. My way of bringing the sacred into the light. As a speaker, nothing is more energizing (and awe-inspiring) than talking about how we can find the sacred in our everyday lives. I customize each program to meet the needs of the audience. My most popular topics include:
- God Is Big: How to See the Sacred in All Things
- God Is Big: The Theology of Rest and Self-Care
- Hide and Seek: The Art of Knowing God
- God Is Big: The Art of Letting Go
“You make me laugh out loud, then cry. Your words open my heart.”
“In a desperate bid to catch up on the emails that have been whipping past me all day, I came upon yours—and felt a moment of peace.”
Where do we go from here? That is the question on my heart as we turn the corner on the pandemic. We have survived something of significance together. It’s going to take some time to figure out what we carry with us and what we leave behind. In this in-between space, I offer you this story from years ago as a gentle reminder that the essence of who we are (even after 15 months of isolation, hand sanitizer, and loss) is still with us.
Years ago, I wrote the prayers of the faithful for Mother’s Day. It is a lay ministry, crafting the petitions sent forth by over 3,000 people on Sunday mornings at church. We prayed for everyone who is a mother, everyone who aches to be a mother, and everyone who declined the role or had it declined for them. It is a day of beauty and of pain. That same May, as I waited for my adoption to finalize, I spent Mother’s Day at a Haitian celebration.
I was 43 miles into my Camino de Santiago pilgrimage when the pain surfaced. Not from the typical blisters or corns. Nor the pulled muscles or sunburn. I’m walking a virtual 480-mile pilgrimage across the northern part of Spain (via an app on my phone). I’d been averaging around three miles, sometimes five, each week. I was finally gaining some momentum when an overwhelming sense of anger became my most unwelcomed companion.