“My neighbors in Korea showed me that the essence of a contemplative prayer presence is the person living it, living ordinary life with eyes and ears of the heart open to the presence of God among us.”
Sister Elizabeth Terbrock received her R.N. from Deaconess Hospital School of Nursing in St. Louis, MO and worked as a nurse in Deaconess Hospital and St. Mary’s Health Center before joining Maryknoll in 1976.
Assigned to Korea in 1978, she used her nursing skills in a clinic and also visited homes of poor and physically challenged people. Poems which she wrote in Korean were published in the Pusan newspaper, and she was interviewed on a Korean TV talk show concerning her ministry as a poet and shared that she tries to describe God’s presence as she sees it in people’s lives.
Moving to Hyun Jeo Dong in western Seoul, she lived a contemplative presence in a lower-income neighborhood and from her neighbors learned to more fully appreciate cultural values that have their roots in the Korean multi-religious traditions of Buddhism, Shamanism, and Christianity: an abiding appreciation of nature, interdependence, and the value of personal presence over and above accomplishment and productivity.
After her integrative work with the expressive arts in Korea, she continues in a ministry of Word-Arts for Wholeness at Maryknoll, NY. Sister Elizabeth, a poet-artist, is a Certified Applied-Poetry Facilitator. Believing in the transformative potential of the arts when used in a context of hope, she journeys with women as a listener using visual and written resources from the creative arts for enrichment or support during challenging passages in their lives. She believes that the spark of the Divine within each person is a deep, original wholeness which prevails through experiences of loss and trauma. She offers retreats to groups and individuals.