Carissa Benavides-2019 - 622x350

Carissa Chen-Mack

Interim Parish Specialist

Ministry Training and Program Development

My Story

“I love my job!” is something you’ll frequently hear from CCO missionaries, and it’s because we really do. This is why:

In our Discovery faith study, there is this quote from Benedict XVI: “If we let Christ into our lives, we lose nothing, nothing, absolutely nothing of what makes life free, beautiful and great….Do not be afraid of Christ! He takes nothing away, and he gives you everything. When we give ourselves to him, we receive a hundredfold in return. Yes, open, open wide the doors to Christ – and you will find true life.”

Over the years, I have seen these words come alive: in my own life, and in the lives of those whom I am privileged to accompany.

My faith became my own back when I was a university student. I was invited to CCO’s annual conference, RiseUp, and it was there that I was able to see young people on fire for their faith. Their witness drew me into desiring more than the lukewarm faith I had been living for a while. After Rise Up, I knew I had to make a choice in my faith: go all in now and choose to invite Jesus to be at the centre of my life, or continue to stay lukewarm. I chose to go all in… and that was a decision that significantly altered my decisions, my career, my relationships, the way I lived my life. It has been years since I made that decision but it is still the best decision I have made. Jesus is my Lord and Saviour. My relationship with Him has brought me the greatest freedom, a constant peace of mind, and the reason and cause for my joy. It became natural for me to talk about Him, and share with others, that they could have this too.

This led me to serving as a campus missionary for the past 6 years. My first year was at the U of S, the past five at MRU and now, as the Team Leader for UBC. I have witnessed many, many young men and women place Christ in the centre of their lives and watch their lives become free, beautiful, and great. These young peoples’ lives radically change for the best. They become virtuous, full of joy, holy, confident, and missionary. They leave university with a desire to renew the world and to bring more souls to God’s love and mercy. I will never tire of seeing one person’s life change when they encounter Jesus.

This is my everyday life, this is my hundredfold… how can I not love my job?


For my journey with Christ, that I may always stay close to Him and know His voice; for university students across Canada, that they may grow closer to the heart of God, in holiness and as missionary disciples; and for CCO, that we may continue to grow as a movement, docile to the Holy Spirit and living always for the greater glory of God.

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