In the summer of 2009 I went on a mission project put on by Catholic Christian Outreach called Impact. The purpose of this mission project was to lead people into a personal relationship with Our Lord Jesus. As the summer progressed I had the opportunity to share my faith with a number of people and tell them about God’s love and mercy. That summer I witnessed many conversions and lives changed. As I witnessed the fruit of this mission my heart was stirred up with a strong missionary zeal. This experience helped me realize what my identity truly is as a Catholic. It is to be missionary. I had spent so much of my life keeping my faith to myself. Once I started sharing it with others, my relationship with God became that much closer. In one of Blessed John Paul II’s writings on evangelization he says, “Faith is strengthened when given to others!”. This is exactly what happened to me, the more I was being “missionary”, the more my own desire to love God was fueled. My biggest realization was to know that you don’t have to be a radical missionary who travels around the world or a clergy in order to evangelize. Being missionary is not what we do but who we are. We as Catholics are all missionaries by the fact we were baptized.
Following the Impact mission I felt God calling me to give my life more fully to the work of evangelization and possibly work for Catholic Christian Outreach myself. At this point in my life I had my goals set on becoming a carpenter. I had plans to do my apprenticeship, become self-employed, and then one day start my own business. This had been my dream basically my whole life. I didn’t want to change the direction of my future so I decided to continue pursuing carpentry. In my reality I thought that I would soon forget about the idea of becoming a full time missionary with CCO, but to my surprise I didn’t. This desire in me to go out and proclaim the gospel just grew and grew. After about four months of trying to avoid this prompting, I realized that maybe God was calling me to something greater other than Carpentry.
I responded to the call and I applied for a position as campus VINE with CCO. The VINE program is where someone has the opportunity to serve on CCO staff for one year. As I went through the application process the Lord continued to affirm me in my call to staff. I served my VINE year in Halifax at both Dalhousie and St. Mary’s University. My ministry here in Halifax was so blessed that I decided to stay on staff for the long haul.
I have a burning desire in my heart for souls to return to the father. There are so many young people wandering around without direction or purpose on our university campuses. At one point, I too was struggling in my faith with questions and doubts stirring within me. Fortunately my friends reached out to me and brought me back to the Church. I am driven by the fact that I have this beautiful opportunity to be instrumental in these people’s lives, helping them to find their identity in Christ.