Amanda Walsh

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I like to joke that I’m an offspring of the Charismatic Renewal of the 80’s…. and it’s true! My parents met through a “circle of praise” group at St. John the Apostle parish in Ottawa. Dad says he saw Mom playing guitar and praising the Lord and said: “That’s the woman I’m going to marry!” Sure enough his little prophecy came true, and I came along in 1988, then my sister Tess in 1992. My family lives in Ottawa, though my life is changing again very soon as I’ll be moving to to St. John’s Newfoundland – after having lived in Saskatoon – to work on a new campus as a missionary with CCO!

In a nutshell, Jesus is the love of my life, my first priority, my reason to keep going, my hope that I am necessary, loved, and enough – my Lord and Saviour. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t believe in God. Since I was about 8 and my dad taught me to pray, I had a personal relationship with God, but it was more a servant and master type of relationship than one of family-like love. I would say I thought God was demanding. Thus, prayer was a source of much frustration. I worried about not doing it perfectly, which was a problem I struggled with in other areas of my life, too. I suffered from a lot of anxiety and fear I wasn’t good enough.

One day it dawned on me, in a moment of prayer, that this was the point of Christianity – the Physician comes for the sick, not the healthy. He wants me just as I am, with my imperfections! The greater my mess-ups, the greater his mercy. I remember where I was standing in my house when that light bulb went on. I was filled with peace and cried many tears of joy at that moment of freedom. This is just a snippet of our long, challenging, beautiful love story, but it was a crucial turning point. I was about 11 or 12. Faith was no longer a ladder I had to somehow climb up to God, but a ladder my hero created to climb down to get me. I got the Jesus point 🙂

On Staff with CCO

Originally, I was assigned to the CCO team at the University of Saskatoon as a VINE staff member: Volunteer in the New Evangelization. However, I am currently working with the students at Memorial University in St. John’s, Newfoundland. I can’t wait to share the Gospel with students on this East Coast campus through relationship-building, discipling, and forming leaders in the New Evangelization!

I’ve only been part of the CCO family a month at the time of writing this, but already I’ve been amazed by how people respond to the news I’ve left my nursing career to work for CCO. I describe it as something that “just fits,” confirming my heart’s desire that I was born to be a missionary. Finding sponsorship has been a surprising privilege. I’m experiencing the care and provision of the Father in a very tangible way by trusting him with my livelihood.

“The Church is not a museum for saints, it’s a hospital for sinners.”

I think CCO has had the most dramatic impact on the lives of people in my circles that I can see. Friends whose families long ago stopped attending church have found their faith rekindled and developed a passion to share it. One friend I led through Discovery said she’s become more disciplined, realizing the importance of Sunday Mass and daily prayer. Another said thanks to the faith studies and our coffee chats, she went from identifying as a non-Catholic Christian to returning to her Catholic roots. It’s been amazing to pray with women as they ask Jesus to become the centre of their lives for the first time, using the Ultimate Relationship booklet as a guide.

I’ve come a long way thanks to CCO. 5 years ago I’d feel sick at the word evangelization. But friends in CCO helped me understand that evangelization is ultimately love, and when it ceases to be love it ceases to be evangelization. That put it in language that meant something to me, because my faith came to be through a personal revelation that God actually is Love. I could get on board with that, because this wasn’t about turning Christianity into a sales pitch, this was about turning me into a saint. I can honestly say that the closer I’ve gotten to CCO, the closer I’ve gotten to Jesus.

ONGOING PRAYER REQUESTS

Pray that the Holy Trinity will prepare the hearts of all those who will come in contact with CCO this year!!

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