I grew up in a Catholic home. My faith became my own when I attended a retreat one Easter. On Good Friday, I was asked to be part of an improv play centering on the Crucifixion. My role was Peter looking at Jesus on the cross, but from a distance. As I spoke, the words became my own, and I cried. Jesus had suffered a horrible death – for me. Yet, I kept denying Him in my life. I realized his unending love for me personally, despite my sins. This was the first time I realized how important our personal relationship with Christ was, rather than just trying to live out the “rules” of our faith.
Elaine and I were married in 1985 and now the grandchildren are becoming part of our lives. Living and working to be an instrument of God’s love, to be God’s instrument to draw those around me more deeply into relationship with Him has been something important to me. How we live our lives is to be a witness for others, of faith, abandonment and following the Lord’s lead.
Our journey with CCO is one example of that. We became more acquainted with CCO in 2002 when they were involved with an event we helped with. As our children became involved, we saw more and more of the good work CCO did in the lives of young people. We became more supportive and involved and one day, a missionary challenged us to consider becoming staff. As we discerned, it became more apparent it was what God was calling us to so we made the commitment in 2012 and moved to Ottawa to work in the National Office.
I am the Office Manager and am responsible for IT and some work in Human Resources. Over the years I have also helped out in Stewardship and Development, Payroll, and Coaching new staff for support raising. These are important to ensure our missionaries are prepared and have the resources to influence lives on campus. I am inspired by St Joseph, St Andre Bessette, and St Therese who worked in the background to help fulfill the mission of the Church.
Through CCO, students are challenged to be “leaders in the renewal of the world,” “living the fullness of the Catholic faith.” It is beautiful to see students rise to the challenge inviting others on campus to faith studies, and mentoring them to be leaders as well. For students who go on mission, their lives seem to be changed profoundly when they proclaim their faith boldly.
Each year I am touched by people coming to know the Lord more deeply. I see this especially at Rise Up where 600+ students attend confession after a time of Adoration. Priests often remark how heartfelt the students receive the Sacrament then. As one priest put it “many prodigal children came home tonight.”
I am moved by the quality and dedication of the people inside the organization. They have a deep love for Christ and those around them. They have an urgent desire to assist other people in deepening their relationship with Jesus. This has been a constant encouragement for me in my faith journey, and a challenge to live a faith-filled life.
A particular highlight for me has been supporter’s generosity. Missionaries appreciate all donations, no matter what size. However, it is very inspiring when people give sacrificially, trusting God at work in their lives. What has touched me even more is the prayer support. In one case, the daughter of a friend who had passed away told me how her dad had offered up his suffering specifically for my work as a CCO missionary. Another prayer partner prayed a rosary every day for us since he heard that I joined staff. It is both humbling and a great source of encouragement.
It is a privilege to be part of such an organization that has such a heart for the world, working with one person at a time to grow in their faith and relationship with the Lord.
ONGOING PRAYER REQUESTS
For all the students involved with CCO, that they may be open to a deeper relationship with Christ, and God, working in their lives.
For the leaders of our Church and our civic governments, that they may be faithful and continually being led by the Holy Spirit, and for their needs and holy intentions.
For our families and all those we love and encounter, that each may fully live out their vocation, career, and ministry in a way that God most desires for their lives.
That all missionaries, especially within CCO, will encounter individuals who are willing to engage with the ministry and be generous with their encouragement, prayer, and financial support.