Professional's Career Changed by Heart

It began with a simple invitation.

Hearing God’s call to become a CCO missionary started when a good friend invited me to a conference. She asked me to join her in Vancouver for Rise Up, CCO’s annual national conference. I had lived in Florida for over a decade, but I was born in BC and I welcomed the chance to spend five days with my friend and this group of young Catholics.

On opening night, my friend introduced me to CCO’s director of Human Resources. He tossed a few questions my way. It soon became clear that my qualifications as a development (ie: fundraising) professional in higher education were a natural fit for the current needs of the movement. At the close of our conversation, he challenged me to attend a staff discernment breakfast. Intrigued, I accepted.

Going to that breakfast signalled a shift in my career. I had worked in a secular environment for my entire career, and it was only a few years earlier that I had been baptized in the Catholic Church and felt the first spark of a strong desire to serve the Church in a professional capacity. Very quickly, I was confronted with some serious questions: was God calling me to move to Ottawa and work for CCO? Was this the opportunity I had been waiting for?

Although I felt a pull in my heart, the need to support-raise was daunting. How could I give up the prospect of a well-paying, salaried position?  I was nearly eight years out of college with bills to pay, and it would take time to build up a support team – how was this going to work?

In the weeks following Rise Up, I decided to apply to CCO while continuing to explore other opportunities. In prayer, I took both my desires and concerns to the Lord. As I continued to pray, He gave me increased assurance: He had always taken care of my needs, would He not also take care of me as a missionary? He had me there.

A few months later, I received a phone call with an official invitation to join staff. I still had other offers on the table, but something in my heart leapt with certainty at this invitation. With great peace, I gave my “yes” right on the spot.

As a CCO missionary, I am able to make a gift of myself – of my talents, knowledge, skills and professional work experience – for the benefit of the Church and the glory of God. I find great joy in knowing that my work with CCO has temporal as well as eternal value.

CCO has also given me the opportunity to grow as a professional and as a leader. During my second year on staff, CCO asked me to take on a new role as the inaugural director of the Stewardship and Development department. The responsibility of the position has stretched and challenged me. It has forced me to catalyze my strengths, confront my weaknesses and rely on God in all things.

Each day, I am called to depend radically on the Lord’s providence – not only in my own life, but also for the welfare of the movement. This exercise in trust is a blessing and it has deepened my relationship with God immeasurably. I have come to see, first-hand, that “the Lord is trustworthy in all He promises and faithful in all He does” (Ps 145:13).

by Lindsay Rigby, CCO Director of Stewardship & Development

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