As a writer, dancer, and theologian, Calista Robledo ‘22 wears many hats—and she wears them well. 

Robledo graduated from St. Edward’s with two bachelor degrees in Writing and Rhetoric and Catholic Studies. She ministered and guided fellow students as a Spiritual Development Coordinator for Campus Ministry and wrote for student publications like New Literati and The Sorin Oak Review. Whether it was through an engaging play she wrote and directed, content she created for the Holy Cross Institute, or simply from a classroom discussion, Robledo’s creativity was always apparent to those around her. After graduation, she channeled her creativity by teaching little ones the foundation of dance at her childhood dance school in Weslaco, Texas. 

A recipient of the Presidential Award, Robledo was also one of three students nationwide to receive a Graduate Fellowship Award from Theta Alpha Kappa, the national honor society for religious studies and theology. With her award, she is pursuing her Masters in Divinity through Boston College’s (BC) School of Theology. 

But before she considered advancing her theology studies, she struggled to choose a field to dive into. Her love for writing was too strong to abandon and her writing professors felt a similar way, but saw Calista’s writing career in a different light. Professor Timothy Braun, visiting assistant professor of creative writing and rhetoric, shared five simple words with Robledo that made all the difference.

“You’ll always be a writer,” Braun said. “You don't necessarily have to go to school for it. If there's something else you want to learn, go learn it.” 

Calista Robledo '22 is earning her Masters in Divinity at Boston College.

Everything lined up for Robledo when she was helping with the Holy Cross Convocation on campus. It was a sunny afternoon when she sat down with members of the Holy Cross and the sun gleamed through the stained glass inside Our Lady of Guadalupe Chapel. The readings for mass were about ministry and discernment; she took it as her sign. Robledo decided to meet with St. Edward’s alumna Lexie Elliot ‘20, a graduate assistant and student at BC’s School of Theology, to talk through the process. Elliot shared her appreciation for the collaboration with Jesuit priests.

Robledo was also intrigued by the idea of gaining the same knowledge as the ordained. 

“What's really interesting about the Masters in Divinity, is that it’s the degree most Jesuits need before entering active ministry. So I thought it was really neat that I could be on that same level, and have that same education.”

Boston College paid all travel expenses for her campus visit. It was a sign she took seriously since her St. Edward’s professors insisted that the school she chose valued her. 

Greeted by a large portrait of Our Lady of Guadalupe during her visit, Robledo began to picture herself participating in weekly masses and saw glimpses of her future as she made new friends who were also accepted. By the end of her visit, she was sure this was the school for her. 

When she started her studies at Boston College, Robledo’s writing followed her. Taking Braun’s advice to heart, she continues to write for her readers through her Substack newsletter, fittingly titled “Theo-Poet Laureate.” She’s also taken on a role as an editor for BC’s School of Theology and Ministry academic journal Lumen et Vita. 

“There's such a long tradition, I've been learning, of writing and theology coming together in different ways—even in an academic sense that's slowly becoming a focus among combining theology with writing,” Robledo said.

Robledo combines writing and theology in her own way. After attending a silent retreat at Boston College,  her reflection was published on the school’s blog post, "Silence is all I need to sing your praise!" Here is a sample of her writing: 

"As I searched for a place for a midmorning stretch, this tiny green hill seemed like a good place for rest. I placed my feet on the moss of the stone, and I heard the voice of Jesus say, 'Upon this rock you will build my church.' A shiver swept through my spine as the breeze greeted the leaves, and the sun warmed my face. I inhaled, raised my arms to the sky, then I exhaled and touched the Earth next to my feet. I touched the ground on which I was called to help build God's Church. Like a flower amidst photosynthesis, I raised my head toward the sun and lifted my chest high toward the sky. Standing on this tiny yet mighty mountain, I understood where I am in accordance with God's plan. For here am I, confused and sometimes shy, fueled by divine hope that I will hold until the end of time."

Calista Robledo '22
Calista Robledo '22 is earning her Masters in Divinity at Boston College.

Whether through reflections on scripture at mass or publishing her writing online, Robledo’s creativity continues to shine through both of her passions.

By Nina Martinez

Photography by Emily Mayernik