BOMA – Eileen, thanks for agreeing to be our featured BOMA Family Member for this month. Why don’t you start by telling us a little about yourself? Where do you live and how long have you been married?
Eileen – My husband, Christopher, and I have been married for 31 years. I am originally from Chicago and he is from the Boston area. We currently live in Tewksbury, MA which is about halfway between Boston and the New Hampshire border.
BOMA – What a lovely family photos. Please tell us a little about each of your children and grandchildren.
Eileen – We have been blessed with six daughters and four grandchildren (so far!):
~ Bridgette (29) is married to Steve Southard. She has a Bachelor’s in Hospitality and Hotel Management with a focus on Food & Beverage and she currently works at Starbucks – great little escape when she needs to take a vacation from a household of four young children, especially three energetic little boys!
~ Samantha (27) has a Master’s in Guidance Counseling from Providence College. She is the Office Manager of our company, but is currently in Seville, Spain for 8 months teaching high school English.
~ Caitlin (24) is married to William McKinnon. They live in Melbourne, FL where Caitlin is finishing her Master’s in Chemical Engineering at Florida Institute of Technology.
~ Vanessa (21) is finishing her last semester of college at St. John’s University in Queens, NY where she is also on the cheerleading team.
~ Anastasia (17) will be graduating from high school this spring and is busy touring the country looking at colleges. That is when she isn’t playing the lead role in her school’s musicals and plays.
~ Lorna (11) is in 6th grade. She is also a competitive gymnast (Level 6) and plays the piano, violin, and is a cantor for Sunday Mass at our parish.
~ Our grandchildren are Skylar (6), Brogan (4-1/2), Oliver (3), and Peter (1).
BOMA – How long have you been involved with NFP and the Billings Ovulation Method® specifically?
Eileen - We first learned the Creighton Model (CrM) while we were preparing for marriage. We used that method for the first 6 years of our marriage. Then, I was trained as a CrM teacher and I taught the CrM for 8 years. In 2001, I switched to Billings Ovulation Method®, both as a user and a teacher. I have been teaching Billings ever since, which has been so rewarding in many ways.
BOMA – You mentioned that Samantha is your Office Manager. What do you do for work?
Eileen – Christopher and I started our own business in 2007 called FireLink, LLC, which focuses on fire forensics. I have a BS in Chemical Engineering with a MS in Fire Protection Engineering. Christopher has a BS in Management Engineering (half business and half Electrical Engineering), an MS in Fire Protection Engineering, and he is also a licensed attorney. Our company primarily investigates fires and explosions after they have occurred to look at origin and cause, spread issues, if and why suppression and alarm systems failed, etc. We also do Computer Fire Modeling and Christopher is an Adjunct Professor at the WPI Graduate Fire Protection Engineering Program in Worcester MA.
BOMA – Wow! Between your business, large family, teaching NFP, and being the BOMA Board President, do you have spare time for anything else?
Eileen – There is a saying about when you want something done, ask a busy person! About 12 years ago, my pastor asked me to help him start a Perpetual Eucharistic Adoration Chapel at our parish. We opened that chapel in Nov of 2006. It is still running 24/7 to this day and I still organize the staffing of the hourly adorers.
Christopher and I also founded an organization called Catholic Quest in 2004 which brings out nationally known speakers to the local area for special live events to further adult catechesis. We usually host between 3-5 events/year, including people like Patrick Madrid, Peter Kreeft, Eric Genuis, and Jesse Romero. We have also rented out local theaters to show theatrical release Catholic movies from Ignatius Press.
Finally, in 2008, Sean Cardinal O’Malley asked us to be on the creation team of a new marriage preparation program. After several years of writing a curriculum and piloting several programs, with corresponding tweaks, our team now has two books published with the Pauline Books and Media: a leader guide and a participant workbook. The program is called Transformed in Love. We still run about 1-2 programs for engaged couples each year.
BOMA – What do you like to do in your free time, if there is any left!?
Eileen – In the quiet times of my day, I enjoy playing the piano. It is a good way to unwind and focus on something completely different from work and all the other ministries that I am involved in running.