Sunday, December 21, 2008


So, last night I went to our 5pm Mass. I walked, with my snow pants on through the mounds of snow just as the day was beginning to turn to night. For the first time in four months I was just going to Mass. I didn't have to anything, greet people, make announcements, nothing. I was just another member of the parish (well I guess that's not entirely true). The warmth of the sanctuary welcomed me and I felt truly happy. The Gospel reading was that of the Annunciation. Father spoke about Mary's call to be the mother of Jesus and how we all have a call in life. When the angel said, "Hail Mary, full of Grace, the Lord is with you." It's important to remember that even when our call is challenging "the Lord is with us." I began thinking about my own call to ministry. About the times I struggled and doubted but knew that God was with me. I felt like I had truly accepted this call and felt good about where I was.
After the Mass was over I was chatting with out music minister. Father called all those remaining in the church to help him with something. A man from our parish was recently diagnosed with cancer of the spinal cord. I do not know this man very well. I know that he is young, has a wife and two young sons. Father asked us if we would be part of this man's anointing as he was going to have surgery on Tuesday. As I stood with the other parish members around this man and listened to Father pray as his wife stood behind him with tears in her eyes. I realized, I am called to this too. I am called to be a part of the joys, sorrows, challenges and victories that the members of this parish experience. And this, is a very wonderful thing.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Tidings of Comfort and Joy!

Last night was our last night of Youth Ministry for 2008. The past two years I have had the young people sign up for Salvation Army Bell ringing. I like to have at least two young people and one adult at three different stores in our town. I drive around to say hello and make sure everyone is doing ok. Last year I was unable to do this as I was attending a funeral (it actually worked out pretty good). This year, for the first time, I had some shifts with three young people. Usually once a shift is filled no one else volunteers. Most of the kids had smiles on their faces, accepted a Christmas cookies from me, and wished me a Merry Christmas. A parent even thanked me for all the work I do (always nice to hear). It was a great night! I felt truly blessed. I feel that the longer I stay here the more I get to know the people I am ministering to. These are great kids. I can honestly say I look forward to watching them grow up.
And now I am truly free of most responsibility for two whole weeks. It just feel so good! Oh the ebbs and flows of Ministry. Last week on Wednesday I was so busy I didn't eat lunch (I NEVER skip a meal). Then on Thursday I was at church from 9am-11pm almost straight through. It was crazy! I don't know if I ever pictured what my life would be like after college. I don't think it was this, but for the first time in a long time I can say I'm okay with that.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Winding Down

Well, today is December 17th. I remember about 4 months ago I looked ahead to this date in my calender and thought, "Wow! By December 17th it will all be over." In a way it seemed kind of like a far off date. And here it is. I remember back in August the look my my calender filling up made my stomach turn but I sucked it up, put my best foot forward and here we are. It went so fast! I seem to recall in the past years second semester went fast I can only imagine. I have one more youth ministry event tonight and then it's free and easy for two weeks. In fact I'm already starting to get bored at the office.
I don't have anything real insightful to contemplate. Just the fact that attitude has a lot to do with how life goes. I didn't come home crying once this semester (my first year I cried about once a month, last year about once every two months). Could I have really changed my attitude that much?
On another topic, I honestly thought that I'd be sprouting a baby belly right about now. I had hoped to be three or four months pregnant but I'm not. I don't know how I feel about this. It is a little frustrating. Things won't time out "perfectly" in my mind. I just keep telling myself this too is God's plan, not mine.
So yeah, that's all I've got today!

Friday, December 12, 2008


Whew! Things have somewhat slowed down around here. The biggest challenge I have with my dual position in Youth and Campus Ministry is that I always feel that I could give more to one or the other. Also, just when one slows down the other one amps up or I feel like I can give more time and energy to one of my ministries. I just don't think churches should have "part time" positions. What a joke! We all know that it is more than "part time."
This however is not what I wanted to reflect on. I read my friend Kim's blog the other day. I long to have that type of experience with my youth. I just wish they would be excited about coming to church or at least want to come rather than being forced to come by their parents. Don't get me wrong, I'm very appreciative that their parents are supporting me in this ministry but I would love it if it would come from the young people. The very day I read that post I had a high school student visit my office. In the two and a half years I have been here a high school student has never just dropped in! They had a snow day here and he came to noon Mass. This student in particular always gives me hope. He is very mature and intelligent for his age. He also has a great interest in all things Catholic. I sometimes feel sorry for him when we meet as a group since he is far above the other young people in his understanding and knowledge of the Catholic Faith, he must get bored.
On our regular Wednesday gathering I decided that since our parish was offering a communal Penance Service that our activity for the evening would be to attend as a group. The week prior we had discussed the sacrament of Reconciliation and the celebration of God's forgiveness of our sins through this sacrament. I know that for many Catholic this is often a touchy subject. I would say the majority of Catholics do not receive this Sacrament on a regular basis. Yours truly hadn't received it in about 2 1/2 years. I was prepared to be let down. I had reminded the parents that this would be our activity for the evening and invited them to join their son or daughter at the service. I truly expected that either a very small amount of young people would attend or that they would come (because mom and dad made them) and sit their sulking. Well, about 13 of my regular 16 showed up. About 1/4 came with their families and all but one chose to receive the sacrament. It was a really beautiful celebration. I asked myself why I didn't receive this sacrament more often. I found it renewing that my young people were open to this event. In face afterwards a group of girls gathered in my office just to talk about some stuff (again a first).
As with most things in my life I must learn to have patience and to trust that things will happen in God's time. All I can do is keep offering, trying, praying, and ministering to all I meet.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Crazy much?

So, I see from my last post that it has been about 3 1/2 months since I last wrote. I could have swore that was just yesterday. Well, things did in fact get a little crazy. I do regret having not written these past months. The University's semester is almost over and do you know what? I have had a great first semester. I haven't come home crying once! I haven't felt too overwhelmed. I haven't felt like low person on the totem pole. I feel really good, happy, like my life has purpose and meaning again. Sometimes I'll be at Mass and I'll look around at all the faces of these people who I have come to know. The students who thought they were dating the love of their life and then broke up, or who came crying to me when they were failing a class and thought they should switch majors. Or the young man who's father died this summer. Or the young couples with their new babies. I am part of something really good. And I feel so blessed to be a part of it. Is it perfect? No way! Hast the dysfunction of out little office family gone away? Nope! Although it does seem to be getting better. So yeah. I miss I would have written about this transformation. I am in fact crazy busy and don't have a ton of time to write but I feel that it is important to do this in the good times, not just when my soul is suffering.
On a personal note I am not pregnant yet. So, that hasn't even been and issue at work. It is definitely journey, trying to get pregnant but I am trying to put it in God's hands. Even my husband who is not particularly religious said, (in response to me using outside devices to determine fertility) "No, trust yourself and if God wants us to have a baby we will." And so we try and we wait. And that is where I am.
I am definitely looking forward to having a long time off. It's Thanksgiving tomorrow and I'm off Friday through Monday so it will be nice. Then we're on for 2 1/2 weeks and the semester is over. Time has flow so fast!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Before things get too crazy!

Before my day gets crazy I thought I would take a little time to reflect, it’s been awhile I know. Things have really picked up around here, which is a good thing. I am getting a little more energy and excitement back for my job ministry. I had a few days of darkness where I brooded over the crazy time commitment that this entails but I got a stern talking to from my husband who works ten hours a day, every day! If anything I’ve learned a lot about myself. I am someone who thrives on contact, personal relationship and creativity. I need to look at opportunities to use these skills and desires in my work because that is where I will shine, it is also probably also where God truly wants me, and I will be using the gifts that he has given me.
I’ve been having meeting with the priest and my other bosses over the details of the upcoming year, all seems well, slightly overwhelming at times BUT my homework from my spiritual director was to just take one day, one moment, one event at a time.
I was also thinking about my years in teaching. Even though I wasn’t in the same school for three years I essentially taught for three years. My third year was one of the best. I’m not sure if it was because I finally got in the groove of teaching, or if it was because I was working with some really great (read fun!) people, or if it was because I knew at the end of it I would be married and living back in my home town with my beloved and my family. Well, here I am heading into my third year. I’m still working with the same folks but that’s okay. I feel like I am finally in the grove of how things work around here, and maybe at the end of it all my life will change again and be graced with a new addition to our family and a new role for me as a mother. So that is where I am at. At the beginning of it all, and hopeful that I will be successful in this endeavor.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

More positive

Another quiet day here on the work front. Don’t worry I’m not complaining. In face I realized that a lot of my posts are kind of whiny and full of complaints. I actually did my scripture reflection today. It was from Matthew, where Jesus is describing the Kingdom of Heaven and comparing it to a person who finds a treasure, a pearl, etc. The reflection asked us to remember a time when we fell and how that felt. Then it reminded us that Jesus loves us even more than that! It also gave some practical suggestions on how we can remember this great love that Jesus has for us. If we begin our day, giving it to Him, asking him to be a part of all we do, our joys, our challenges and giving ourselves up to His will. Then in the evening we can reflect on the parts of our day when we felt Christ’s presence and where we followed his will. We can also ask for forgiveness for the times when we went against his will. This is something I tell my young people to do all the time. Maybe it’s time to practice what I preach. I decided that if I am to post something I should at least have on positive thing in my post.
Today when I was home for lunch making a delicious lunch of grilled summer squash, and chicken salad wrap I thought about how grateful I am that I have a job that allows me to go home almost every day and make my lunch. I am reminded of the times when I was a teacher and only had 20 minutes scheduled for lunch, which meant by the time you got down there you only 15 minutes and forget savoring your lunch if it needed to be heated up. No, I guess I don’t miss the endless days of turkey sandwiches, carrots, and an apple scarfed down in a cafeteria filled with yelling kids. I also got some more registrations for Youth Ministry in today. Not only did I get 2 11th graders I also got 3 Catholic school kids! Not whether or not they show up I won’t know but their parents did pay the fee so we shall see! This is my last three day week so tomorrow is my Friday yeah! I’m actually taking next Friday off because my sister-in-law and family will be here from far away. So yeah, it’s still summer!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Not much good or bad

I know it’s been awhile. I haven’t been inspired lately. Maybe it’s because I haven’t kept up my afternoon prayer time. Instead I’ve been watching TLC while I munch my lunch! I also haven’t felt like I am in that dark hole that I sometimes get into. The impending school year is upon us. The first of August is the end of this week. What does that mean? Well, it means I have to come into the office more than three times a week to work on stuff. I honestly have very little to work on right now, I wouldn’t want to get too far ahead of myself. So, for this week I am slowly accomplishing little things, mostly surfing the web and connecting with folks on facebook. I felt like I accomplished some things last week. I try to keep thoughts of 50 hour weeks far from my mind. I know that even once August does come it won’t be nearly as crazy as it gets further on down the line.
I did have a rather snotty email sent to me today by a parent. There has been a bit of confusion in regards to the Youth Ministry/Confirmation connect. Quiet honestly before I came long Youth Ministry was a joke. The person in my position didn’t leave any record of what was done or who attended the events. I think that the D.R.E. and the priest did all of the Confirmation preparation. Youth Ministry was seen as an optional thing while preparing for Confirmation. I’m trying to change everyone’s perspective. Youth Ministry is an expectation of kids in grades 9-12 (at least kids who aren’t in Catholic Schools would be my hope). When they are in 10th grade they prepare for Confirmation but still attend YM when not preparing. Anyway, this is what she writes:

This is a very different process than has been the precedent in the past. I have two children who have gone through the Newman confirmation program and there was a separate registration as stated on the registration forms for Youth Ministry. This change was not communicated to the parents which has been confusing. I had Ben's registration ready to submit in May, but I did not submit it because I knew that he would be in the confirmation program. If it was stated that confirmation was part of Youth Ministry, I would have submitted his registration. We will be out of town so his registration will be late. I am wondering if other parents are confused also. Thanks,

To be honest there has been some confusion by other parents, I just didn’t think it warranted the snotty response. Yeah, I know it’s different than in the past, get over it! By the way it has been stated that Confirmation Prep. is part of Youth Ministry. This is the crap that I hare dealing with. I’m sure there is stuff like this in all lines of work. They just don’t tell you this when you’re in college!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Reflection on the past leads to a new begining

As I take a break from my “work” today I reflect back on the day that I came to interview here at the church. I don’t know why these memories pop back into my head. Maybe it’s because the weather is brutally hot as it was on that day. I remember I was at what was my fiancé’s house, soon to be our house, moving some of my things in and arranging it to my liking. I decided to take a walk through campus, explore my surroundings. I marveled at how close the church was to my new place of residence. It was very hot and humid; I was sweating profusely by the end of my walk. I knew that I would drive the few short blocks rather than risk arriving at the interview sweaty and disheveled. I entered the back doors of the church and saw a woman I had known from my old parish. She greeted me excitedly and asked if I was interviewing for the job (she must have guessed from my awesome interviewing suit). I replied yes and she was very excited. I greeted the secretary who called my now Campus Ministry boss (who I will refer to as J from here on out). J escorted me to the conference room where the interviewing committee was waiting. I remember meeting my “other boss” (K), and all the different folks on the committee. It was a grueling interview. They just kept firing questions at me left and right and giving me scenarios that I had to respond to. I later found out from one of the students on the committee that I was their 8th and final interview so they had the pattern down pretty good. K really worried me. I remember thinking that if she had to be my boss I wouldn’t like it, she seemed mean and angry, which is totally untrue but she does come off that way. I remember thinking how I would prefer working with J since he seemed so kind (ha!). After the interview I was told to wait in J’s office and was given the National Catholic Reporter to read. The couch was sagging and I was uncomfortable. I sat there, sweating (no air-condition) as I waited and waited for the committee to finish deliberating. As I waited the music minister (M). Met me and was excite to find out that I had attended the same University she was teaching at. I waited and waited listening to the clock in his office chime on the quarter hour. I kept thinking that I didn’t do so well in the interview but they must have liked me somewhat otherwise they wouldn’t have taken so long. Finally the music minister went down and got J. He dismissed me and said they would be in touch.
I returned to my future home and sat outside in a lawn chair rehashing the interview with my dad on my cell phone. I really wanted the job. At the time I had no other options. I honestly didn’t know what I was going to do if I didn’t get the job. Plus it was so conveniently located. I had a good feeling about it. While we chatted my call waiting went off and I could tell it was from the church. I let my dad go and found it was the church, the priest actually, calling to offer me a job. I really couldn’t tell you what I said in that interview that day. But for some reason, out of all the people that applied and interviewed that committee saw something in me that they wanted here at my church. I was so glad! I was getting married to the man I loved, had a nice place to live AND a job in my field. How could life be any better?
I also remember those first few weeks of working here. It was about this same time of year. It was slow and quiet. I met with each of my bosses and got the low down on what went on around here. I also had to clean off my desk which was piled high with “stuff” from the previous Youth Minister. Then I got take off for two weeks because of my wedding (how nice and generous of my work place). When I returned it was August 28th and I was thrown into the whirlwind which is this ministry until about December 15. I had no clue what I was in for.
I don’t know why I am looking back on that day. Maybe it’s to get in touch with those good feelings I had, those feelings of hope, anticipation, excitement, confidence that I could do this job. Now that I am headed into my third year (the longest I’ve stayed at a job by the way). I don’t really have those feelings. I have some ideas on how I would like things to go but I also have the past two years of experience and know what I am getting into. I don’t want to have to fight and push to try new things. I don’t want the pressure of feeling that I have to have “numbers” (common way that the priest evaluates programming which I happen to disagree with); the pain of dealing with parents who do not prioritize their child’s faith, the struggle to communicate with my colleagues, the uncomfortable atmosphere this work place exudes at times. Oh yes, and did I mention that I would like to be pregnant this year too? I’m sure that will throw everything for a loop since I have no idea what it will be like to be pregnant and do this crazy work.
Right now I don’t know why I am doing this work. I do know one thing. This is where God wants me to be. What I thought were doors being opened for me in other directions obviously weren’t. And so I wait. Wait for the craziness to begin, wait for the joy and energy that I know my students will bring me wait to see what God has planned for me this year. Maybe I should try and forget these past two years of challenges and focus on the task at hand.
O Lord, please help me to see your light in this ministry. Help me not to get discouraged by the little things that can eat away at my soul. Help me to know and accept that this is Your will for me right now. Show me how I can serve you today and each day.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Many places

My head is in many places right now. For three nights I have had dreams where I am working somewhere else or am seeing the kids that I use to teach and in my dream a deep sorrow and longing comes over me. It’s not that I hate my job here but I think at the current time I am not energized, ignited, or on fire with passion for it. I have had this at other jobs. Right now all I feel is boredom and a dread that soon I will go from nothingness to craziness. Why does it have to be so extreme? On the other hand I couldn’t fall asleep the other night because I was thinking about all the things I could, would, should do next year and how it would all work together. I was also contemplating how having a child (remember I’m not even pregnant yet) would work into this job. My brain was racing with ideas and thoughts. I just don’t know. I am going to make a bigger effort to stand up for myself and for what I think should be done as far as programming and such. I can’t just sit here and let what had always been done be done over and over and over again. Yet, thinking about another year in the dysfunction that is this work place puts a knot in my stomach ache. It is exhausting trying to deal with this on a constant basis. I feel like I have been complaining a lot. I’m just not inspired right now. I know things will get better.
I did have a college student come and visit me today that is always nice.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Let the Spirit Work

I’ve had a little better attitude around the office today. I didn’t get much work done but I didn’t let it bother me either. I had a really long discussion with our music minister who from here on out I’ll refer to as M. She gets frustrated with the dysfunction that is our office (although sometimes I think her personality is one that contributes to it). She reminded me to keep at it, to go with my instincts because they are good. She also said that the Holy Spirit is at work inside all of us if we let it work throughout gifts and talents we will be successful and feel fulfilled. It is true. I must let the Spirit work through me in this situation. I cannot hope for a different situation but focus on what I can do in the here and now. It is challenging. Especially now when not much is going on. But it did give me hope and helped me to look towards the future and get excited about it. Time is running short; soon we will be in full swing. I vow to make at good effort this year to realize that I cannot change the other people in my life but only how I react to them!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

I am so small

Guess I really don’t know what to say today, seeing as I was such an idiot yesterday. Here I am ranting and raving about how dumb my job is when there is so many things bigger going on. One of our good friend’s sons was in a serious car accident yesterday. He is critical condition. He was driving the car with two other girls, one of which died. Pretty serious stuff. I see on facebook that a couple of my kids know these young people. So, sad. Not sure on the status of our friend. The girl died seemed to be a wonderful person. A life cut short for reasons unknown to us. It really makes us realize not to take life for granted. We are vessels of the Holy Spirit and should live that way, each day. Rather than trudging off to my job I should ask God where it is he needs me today. How will I meet Him in the seemingly boring or unimportant ways? It is then that I will find Him in the bigger picture. My prayers and thoughts are with our friend and the other families of the accident victims. Truly one of life’s mysteries.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

It's just another day

Another day of nothingness! Cam you believe I was actually excited to have a meeting to go to this morning? At least it was something to do. “The priest” says if I don’t have stuff to do then I should get outta here since we all know what’s coming down the road. I just don’t know if I can take these ups and downs. The thought of August 15th- December 15th causes a dreaded knot to form in my stomach. Hmmm… now that I’m actually counting that is only four months. I wonder if I’ll be 4 months pregnant at that time (that’s “our plan” not necessarily God’s). Anywhoo, I’m just bored. I also feel that if I look down the long road of youth ministry things are not going to change for the better. I have asked parents to sign their children up for youth ministry by August 1st and I have gotten 3 (out of 65) forms back. 3!!! What the heck people. What really torks me off is when people say the Catholic Church doesn’t offer anything for youth. Well I sure as heck am trying. I just don’t know. Leave it in God’s hands; leave it in God’s hands.
In my daily reflection for today the question is raised, “What seeds are you sowing right now?” As I thought about it I felt guilty. Maybe I’m not trying as hard as I could? Or what’s the point? These seeds I’m sowing aren’t growing, or at least I can’t see them. I then read on to realize it’s not what I am doing but how I am doing it. How am I approaching this situation I find myself in? Not very well, but I’m not quite sure how to change.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Bored wonderings

So, I was getting pretty bored with myself yesterday. I pretty much cleaned my entire office. As I was sorting through all the books in my office, some mine some that have been here for goodness knows how long, I was having some depressing thoughts. I was thinking, “What is the point of all this? I’ve never even used these books (I did trash some of them). If I left this job would I even care if I got my own back? I don’t really use them. This is so much not what I expected when I was a young naïve high school/college student.” I guess I thought that it would be so easy to attract young people to the church because I was so attracted. I have to sit and wonder why I was so attracted to religion and church when most of my peers weren’t. I guess I wasn’t very comfortable with who I was growing up. The church gave me acceptance, and identity. Now that I am more comfortable with who I am personally I am still working to figure out who I am professionally (in ministry that is). I felt like when I was teaching I was 100% myself. I don’t know if it is just my working conditions but now I don’t feel free to be myself. I am constantly walking on egg shells wondering if I am going to have to have a confrontation with one my many bosses. Or wondering which one of my ideas will be shot down. It’s hard to get fired up about ministering to others in this situation.
I’m feeling a little bit better today. I reviewed some ideas and meeting minutes that happened at the end of the school year when I did feel fired up and goal orientated. It has been stated that the priest, my campus ministry boss and myself will begin meeting next week to discuss plans for next year. I have to get my s@#t together for this. The priest always wants you to be prepares before you voice something. Confidence, confidence! And a gentle heart towards my other boss!

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

A big long catch up!

I know, I know it’s been so long. I’ve actually been back from my vacation for a week now and am just getting around to posting. The three days I did work last week were crazy! It’s always hard to come back to work after vacation but last week was particularly brutal on me. I started going to a dark place and got frustrated with my job and was dreaming of working somewhere else!
I came back to work Wednesday and hardly a soul even asked about my trip or even acknowledged that I was back after being gone for ten days. Kind of makes you think, “What is the point of me even being here?” As per directed by my “lady” boss I am suppose to continue with Youth Ministry during the summer, since after all I am a full time employee. Last year (my first year) she sprang this on me after I had already met with the high school kids for the last time leaving them and me thinking everything was free and easy until September. She also stipulated that my activities should have some type of educational component to them (she is after all the director of religious education). I of course balked at the idea thinking that kids would want to do anything but learn over the summer. But, because I was naïve and the new kid in town I busted my butt putting together a program that I thought was both fun and educational. Before each event I would call all 65 kids that SHOULD be in our program and reminded them in an overly cheesy and excited voice about the event. At most I had 4 kids. So, as summer approached this year I asked my committee of adults what type of programs they thought I should do. One suggestion I liked was to do more service orientated programming. I thought this was a great idea. I put together a schedule of various ways we would serve throughout the summer. Some of these options are challenging to do during the school year as they don’t fall on a Wednesday evening. I was pumped. Right before I left on vacation I put out the signup sheets for two events taking place the week I got back. Strawberry picking and strawberry cleaning (two separate events) for a later fundraiser done by another committee in August. Secretly I was hoping that no one signed up as Wednesday was my first day back and I knew I would be exhausted. But one kid signed up for both events. Well, I sucked it up and got excited for that one kid. I was even more excited when a second kid showed up at my office right before the event! Alas the first kid canceled. So the one student, young man I set off for the berry farm. In all actuality this was quiet a pleasant event. This same young man came to all the events I planned summer. Last summer he barely said a word and when he did it was usually outlandish or totally inappropriate! This time we actually had a nice conversation. I could really see how he had grown in the last year. Together we picked to big flats of strawberries totaling about 4 pounds! He mentioned coming back the next night to clean.
My husband, seeing that I was busy, took off to fish on Thursday night. I set off for church ready to clean strawberries with my two faithful kids! The event started at 6:30. I sat ready with knives, cutting boards, and gallon buckets. NO ONE showed up. I stared down 4 pounds of strawberries ripening by the minute and began cutting. I started to grow angry as I thought about the lack of commitment and excitement these kids have about their faith or church in general. I prayed. I said, “God, you must have a reason for putting me in this position. Please, show it to me. I don’t know if I can go on if this is how it is going to be. There were other groups meeting in the church and I soon heard the voices of women as the finished their prayer group. I recognized one voice to be that of D. D is an older woman who spends a lot of time at church often bothering our priest as well as other members of the staff. She is always offering to “help” with anything and everything! I was too prideful to ask for help and I knew if she saw me she’d ask what I was up to (she’s kind of nosey too!). Sure enough! That’s exactly what happened! When I told her my dilemma her reply was, “Oh for goodness sakes! I’ll help you!” and she did. We had a really nice long talk. She told me about her family. How she has six children but one committed suicide. How her husband had “dropped dead” (her words not mine) one day. Her days nursing, her trip to Alaska, and such. It certainly made the time and work go faster.
Even though I am still frustrated and annoyed with the young people I have to look at this is what God wanted of me at that very moment. D needed to talk to someone; she always needs to talk to someone and a lot of times we don’t have time to talk to her. She knows this and isn’t really a bother but I’m sure she is lonely. As was I that night.
I don’t know, I hate to feel this way, and I’m sure the lack of activity around here has something to do with it but I just don’t think I can do this work the rest of my life. The thoughts (and actions) of starting a family are beginning to take shape and I cannot fathom working a 56 hour week with kids at home, I don’t want to do that. Patience, patience, I know God will show me where He needs me at that time. Right now I’m just plain bored! Like my husband says, “If they are going to pay you to sit around don’t complain!” It’s true! Maybe tomorrow I’ll clean out my desks and my book cases!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

3 Days

Now, considering this is a religious blog one might think that this post will refer to the three days that we waited for Jesus to rise from the dead. This is not the case! In three days my husband and I are taking our first official vacation (we did take a honeymoon but it was instate). We are going to Alaska! Yesterday I had off and kept myself super busy cleaning the house, packing, working out the day just flew! Today has gone SOOOOOO slow! I have literally done NO work as I have sat here at the office for 7 hours! I know bad bad me! There are a few small things I should do before I go but I can't just get myself motivated. I surfed the web a lot! Bad! Bad! Bad! I know!
On work relationship thing did happen though. Around this time of year the University had Freshmen registration. Out Newman Center has a little table over on campus where we sign up students of ALL denominations. We then contact the local churches in town and say, "Hey! Sally Smith is Lutheran and she is coming to the University in the Fall welcome her!" We also get our own folks too! I know my boss was a little peeved when I told him I'd be going on vacation during this time. He said something like, "You'll miss all of them!" Seriously! We've had this vacation (and airline tickets) planned since February and I didn't get the dates of registration until after the fact. The truth is, I'm only missing 4 of the 7. So today I did the responsible thing (I was looking for work to do) and asked him if there was anything he needed me to do for tomorrow. He said no. Then I asked what time I should be there and he said he had it covered. I instantaneous response was to say, "Oh, okay!" I then left his office and felt so cranky! I guess I just assumed I'd be there and he just assumed I wouldn't. I had to leave the office for an eye appointment and kept thinking about it the whole time. I also thought about how I was going to make an effort to be honest about my feelings and if I just let this go it would continue to make me angry. So after my appointment I went back to his office and simply said, "Would you like me to help out at any of the other registrations? You know, since I'll be around for some of them. I don't mind helping." He said sure and we set up some times. He also said I could come hang out tomorrow too if I wanted to.
Sigh! The communication issue is terrible! I just have to be the clarifier I guess. I seriously think that he thought I was going be gone for ALL of the registrations. Oh well. I'm glad I talked to him about it.
Yeah, so that's my story in a nutshell.
Over the weekend I spent a lot of time with high school friends at a bridal shower and bachlorette party. I managed to make to Mass early on Sunday morning. I looked around and thought about how I know so many more people now than I did two years ago when I accepted this job. It's still a work in progress but I am becoming more attached to this parish each day.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

I think I saw Christ but....

So, yesterday as I was leaving the office (early I might add) a little boy, about 9 years old stopped me outside the church. He asked me if I had a dollar he could use to ride the bus. I didn't even think twice but checked my pockets to see if I had any money (which I didn't, never do!). I told him to hang on and I would go back to my office where I was sure I had some loose change. I was had my bike and for a brief moment thought that I should take the bike with me "just in case". The little boy followed me back into the church. He asked me if this was the University. I told him that it was a church and he replied that he hadn't been inside a church for years. I dug through my desk drawer and found a dollar in change. The boy and I walked out together. He offered to push my bike out of the building. I kindly replied that it was okay and, if he could just hold the door that would be great. For some reason in the back of my mind I thought he was out to get my bike. I have no idea where this thought came from! But it really bothered me. We left the building together and he stayed at the bus stop, right by our church. I find it so odd and confusing that I would have no qualms about giving him money but yet still didn't trust him.
Many times a month a person of need will come into our church looking for "the pastor" and ask for money. He and my other boss usually give it them therefore the news spreads that this church gives out money and more people come. Our priest has been robbed before. Myself, and the other women in the office NEVER give out money. I don't even bring my wallet or purse to the office half the time. I really can't make sense of why I felt okay about giving this boy money but then mistrusted his intentions. Needless to say, my bike is being stored inside my office rather than in the vestibule where I can't see it. Was I being a good Christian or not? Was I just taking precautions or did I have no need to fear? It's sad to me that in this day in age you just don't know.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008


My daily meditation today talked about God's unconditional mercy and grace. Last night I had a dream, I'm not really sure what it was all about but it seemed to me that I was at the college I attended but working in the ministry that I am currently in. I made a suggestion to "my boss" and he turned it down, with a good explanation. This is very similar to what has happened in the past. For some reason, in my dream, I started to emotionally break down, feeling like I wanted to cry and that perhaps I should say something, stand up for myself but I didn't. I began to get frustrated because I didn't know what to say! In the dream I went somewhere private and did cry. I felt like I knew I had done something wrong, like I had let people down, like it was all my fault. Yet, I don't remember what it was that I did except for make that suggestion
How odd this dream seemed to me, especially since virtually NOTHING is going on around here involving our students and programming. I think part of me is fearful. I want to have this new found confidence. I do want to stand up for myself. But, I am worried that I will continually be shot down and that I won't be able to handle the constant rejection. I also, as always, don't want to let anyone down. When things go wrong I immediately tend to internalize it and blame myself.
On another note I must say it feels so luxurious to have so much free time in the evenings. Yesterday I got home, walked, played with, and fed the dog before my husband got home. Washed this dishes from the night before, knitted while watching tv, ate dinner with my husband, went shopping for some bachlorelette items I needed for a friend's party this weekend, picked up groceries we needed for tonight, picked up a book I needed, got home ans washed the dishes from last evenings supper, wrapped my girlfriend's bridal shower presents, read, and went to bed! All this before 10pm! I think the hardest part is transitioning between this easy time and the craziness that comes at the end of August and the beginning of September. I am definitely not thinking about that right now. Who knows? Maybe I'll be pregnant and can use that as a excuse!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

Don't get dehydrated, spiritualy that is!

Ah yes, so much has seemed to have happened since I last posted. I just got finished viewing a Frontline report done in 1983 about an abortion clinic. Talk about depressing. Glad I didn't watch that on Friday! It was very good but I wish it would have ended with a follow up on the girls who were interviewed.
On to better and happier things. Our high school grad recognition Masses were this Sunday. I hardly knew some of the kids who we recognized. They would have been confirmed and involved in our youth ministry program before I came along. Many of them I had never even seen at church. I guess I could have felt sad about this but I didn't. I'm sure to their parents this was important and they were glad I did this. My hope is that the young people will remember this and perhaps recognize their importance to the Church. This is just an example of how I have recently come to a better understanding of what ministry is. I just have to keep inviting and putting my offers out there with the hope that some how I'll reach someone! I might NEVER see the difference I make but I know that this is all part of God's plan.
I met with my spiritual director yesterday and told her all about my recent conversations with "my boss" She was very pleased at what had transpired. She said I have really grown in the last year that we have been meeting. I feel like it was a long process and I'm sure that it is not even over yet but I too have recognized the growth. One thing I shared with her is that when things are going well I don't tend to pray, it's only when I am in a bad space and feel like I need God more that I am more disciplined in my prayer. She gave me a recommendation of a type of mediation to use, it's up to me to maintain it. We don't what to let our relationship with God get thirsty! So, even though I wanted so badly to watch "stupid tv" while on my lunch break I sat down and read the scripture for the day and the mediation that went along with it. As always, God surprised me. The mediation talked about not being a fake and being honest, yet respectful in our relationships with others , especially when it is challenging. Hmmm... that sounds kind of familiar.
It has seemed so easy to recognize Christ in so many ways these past few days. In the sweet older gentleman who chatted with my at the YMCA this morning, to the troubled faces of the girls I ministered to in jail. Maybe it isn't easy maybe my heart has turned and I am seeking, looking, and being open to God's presence in my everyday life.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Summer summer summer!

So I am still on my happy start to summer high! Last night was great! One kid who did sign up didn't show up but two who didn't sign up did show up! They are such a delightful, easy going, fun group. I am really looking forward to working with them next year. After our pizza party I road my bike over to the public library which is always an enjoyable experience. It was warmer than it has been at night here so it was a very pleasant early summer ride back home. I was truly content.
In totally unrelated spiritual news. Today I went to Group Strength Training Class. The woman who teaches the class is my idol. She is so fun, energetic, she's thin but fit and athletic. As a hobby, I teach cycling classes at the Y. I'm also certified to teach Zumba classes but am not on the schedule. While I was filling up my water bottle the instructor said to me, "So, when are you going to teach group strength?" I explained how I would love to but need to be certified. I didn't even know that the instructor knew I was interested in doing this. She said she would remind the head of adult fitness about me! I was so flattered that she acknowledged that I would be good at this. It just made me happy. Plus I might be helping out with a Zumba kids class which would be really fun to. Yeah, life is good. Tonight the only thing I have to do is make dinner and watch Lost! Can't wait!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Another Day

These past two weeks things have really slowed down around her. I come to work thinking, "What the heck am I going to do today?" Before I know it, it's nearly 4pm. I think I found something to occupy my time with over the summer months. I was checking Frontline again, trying to email the program I watched about teens online to the Director of Youth Ministry and I found a bunch of other documentaries that looked interesting. So far for the summer I have planned, watching Frontline, catching up on my reading, and keeping this blog updated. Oh yeah, and whatever other "work" takes up my time (which is only going to be about 25 hours per week!). So yeah, summer!
Had my meeting with the priest today. It went well. We discussed the good parts of the year and the things which I need to work on, which is mainly me being more confident, less timid, and willing to communicate and stand up for my ideas. This is good since it is something I have recognized myself as an area of improvement. We talked about my relationship with my other bosses and such. I brought up the issue of me starting a family. I don't know I get all worked up about things that haven't happened yet. Of course the priest said we would cross that bridge when we got to it...duh! So yeah. I am ready to take on my third year here at the parish. If all goes as planned this will be the longest I've been at a job my whole adult life! Would I rather be teaching, sure. Will I renew my teaching license, of course. Will I always keep my ears open and eyes peeled for God is calling me next YES! Will I dutifully and enthusiastically do what I am called to do in the here and now, I will! So that's about all I know!
Tonight I'm doing a first ever 8th Pizza party, to get the kids psyched up for next year. Only 6 are coming so far, but I will minister to those six to the best of my ability. This officially ends the Youth Ministry school year! On to Summer!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Return

Well, a successful return from a nice long weekend! At first I thought I would have nothing to do today but I ended up working on a picture slide show of all the events we did (or that I took pictures of) in Youth Ministry. It ended up being 6 minutes long. I’ve really done a lot since I’ve gotten here. My attitude is still pretty positive but today when I read that one of the “nuns” at the local Catholic School was leaving my heart hoped, just a little that there might be an opening for me. I sent an email for a little investigation. I don’t really know if I would want to be at the Catholic school here in town. As I’ve mentioned it’s pretty conservative and slightly backwards but I think my heart will always long to be a teacher. I still believe that I have a purpose here and that there is work that God is calling me to do.
On Friday I called all the households with graduating seniors. We are honoring our graduates and since we are a Newman Center we are contacting the ministry program at the schools where these graduates will be attending to let them know they are coming. One father I spoke with who is a very active member but whose son is not even baptized was so pleased that I called. He gave me his son’s college information. When I asked him about attending Mass he replied in a weary voice, “I just don’t think I’ll be able to get him to go.” He truly appreciated my effort. And to think I wasn’t even going to call them because I knew the son wasn’t active. That is the irony or perhaps the challenge of working in ministry. We just have to keep trying no matter what. More than likely the outcome won’t be what we expect it to be. Or we might never know if we’ve affected someone’s life.
In other news, I’m meeting with the priest tomorrow to talk about my position next year. He keeps making it sound like there is going to be a big change or something. He has an odd sense of humor so I can’t really tell if he’s just being funny or what. Much as I am challenged by this job if he said to me, “There is no position for you.” I don’t know what I would do. I am really starting to grow into this parish. My identity rests here. I can see me bringing my babies to church here and having our college students babysit. I was just about to write that I would be devastated by this. But, I don’t think I would be. I’d be sad, but I would move on. Not like when my position was cut at the middle school I taught at. I felt like I could have worked there for the rest of my life. I know I don’t feel that way about this position. I think I would like to be a part of this parish for the rest of my life, but to be in the same position I don’t think so. Hmmmm, something to ponder. We shall see.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Catching Up

Another quiet day here at my office. I was the only one here for a long time…not a good idea. Lots of web surfing and facebooking happened. But seriously, last night’s bowling event was great! It reinforces the belief I have that we must do more social activities in Youth Ministry. I also let the young people use my camera (don’t tell my husband it’s a $500 camera!). They took some really crazy shots. I’ll share some of the better ones they took of me. Because it’s been so slow I’ve gotten a chance to catch up on my reading, of books as well as websites. I found this really great one today One the most inspiration clips I watched was this one. I think I’ll be visiting this daily for a little inspiration! Other than that things are going well. I am anticipating and end of the year review with the priest next week that should provide something interesting to write about. Hopefully I’ll post tomorrow and then we off for the 3 day Memorial Day weekend.
I am looking forward to spending the evening with some friends who are in town to help with Steamboat Season. Had this been a few weeks (I guess even a week) earlier I couldn’t have spent time with them because I had to work. I really struggle with having to sacrifice my freedom like that. You don’t realize how much you have to give up until you get a “break” and think, “Oh I normally have to take students to the Catholic Worker house on Thursdays, and I wouldn’t have been able to go out to dinner spur of the moment.” Again, another reason I long for “normalcy”

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Conversation Part 2

So, after letting yesterday’s conversation roll around in my head all last night I had a thought. I was trying to go to sleep when all the things I should have said were popping through my mind. Then why don’t you just say them?! Was my final thought before finally falling asleep? I slept well but when I woke up remembered that there was something important I ought to do today. I considered my decision throughout the morning as I worked out and walked dog. When I arrived at my office I was boldly going to approach my boss, but found his office to be closed. So I shot off and email asking to meet with him. Within the hour he responded and we met. And do you know what? I felt so much better! I told him how yesterday's conversation took me by surprise because for the past few months I was happy and I had tried to set my troubles aside. I said that sometimes I feel inferior or subordinate to him, especially when he questions something I do. I also admitted that I need to stop interpreting what and how he says things to me and if I am bothered by it to ask for clarification. I don't know if he got it but at least I said it. I need to stop seeing this man as a weirdo, or an old guy. It is not that I don’t respect him. It’s just that for the longest time I have had myself convinced that we are just two very different people and we just don’t get along. After reading my entry and the email I sent to a friend I realized again that this is not true. We are much more similar than I think either one of us realizes. I really do want to get along with him. I guess it is just going to take a little more effort on my part.
Other than that things are pretty slow and boring around here. I don’t really have any programming coming up that I need to plan for so pretty much all day I dinked around on the internet, watched last night’s Frontline which was very interesting and talked about the youth of today and their connection (obsession) with the internet, read a little… that’s about it. Tonight is the last official night of Youth Ministry for the school year. We’re going bowling. Last year this was really fun so I’m looking forward to it. I wonder what I’ll do next week??????

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


I know I said I was going to make a more consistent effort at keeping this blog updated. Truth be told I took a short break from my job. After putting in 42 hours in just 4 days I needed to get away from this building.
Today I returned to work in my office only to be met with a difficult situation. Not so much difficult in a “hard to do” sense but difficult as in hard to deal with. My heart is so confused right now. So my Campus Ministry boss who I have mentioned before asked to meet with me today. This did not seem so unusual to me as we normally meet on Tuesdays but since we literally have no programming going on I was curious as to what we were going to talk about. Well, you could have blown me over with feather. He had a somewhat serious look on his face when he said, “I have noticed that you do not seem to be happy working with me. What is that all about?” Whoa! I guess I haven’t been as subtle as I thought. It is true I am very challenged working with this man. As I’ve mentioned before, he (and the rest of my colleagues) are in their 50’s and I am in my late 20’s this in and of itself is a challenge. Another challenge is my boss just has a very different personality. He is very quiet and private, doesn’t share much of himself with others. He does not offer praise for a job well done. Last year was even worse, he didn’t even tell me what he wanted to done and then would be aggravated when I didn’t do it right. So yeah, I’m not happy. But, I have been trying so hard to just let it go, to just do my thing, to be myself. So when he confronted me with this issue I couldn’t bring up specific examples of why it is challenging to work with him. I wish I could have. Because this meeting was at 9am I’ve been letting the thoughts whirl around me head all day. I did tell him that I myself am not very good at expressing when something bothers me, I let it fester and boil inside of me which I am sure comes off as negative anyway. I just don’t know how to work with this guy. And I want to I really want to. He is such a good man. Here is something I emailed to a friend. This took place after the concert in memory of the religious studies professor who died (my boss’s name has been removed)

The way things are being done at (name of parish) , it’s just not right. Things don’t have to be this way. I shouldn’t be put in the position of low woman on the totem pole. I have so much to give but am constantly being oppressed and criticized.” If I do take this job am I giving up? Am I a failure? Should stay and fight? I don’t know if I am strong enough to stay and do that.
Then,(my boss's) musical group came up to perform. They played a song as a group. Then (my boss) spoke about a song that our professor loved to hear him play and his voice cracked as he told the story. It was a beautiful story and his voice cracked again as he sang the song for our professor. I was truly struck with a moment of grace. Here is the man I work with everyday who NEVER and I do mean NEVER expresses any emotion to me and never shares a part of himself with me, nearly crying in front of an entire audience. And I realized that he and I are not so different people. But he doesn’t see this. I just wished so badly that things could be different. That he could open up to me and see me and treat me as an equal. Not feel threatened by me and treat me like a servant. I am not saying he is mean to me and he always thanks me for the little errands and jobs I do for him. But I think as long as we are both here he will always see himself as the Campus Minister and me as the Associate Campus Minister. I don’t know if it is because I am young or a woman or what. Sometimes I get the feeling that he doesn’t really like me. I just don’t know if I can deal with that for a life time. I know that I have talked to Father about this and he just confirms that this is my boss’s personality. It just makes me so sad. Things could be so different, so wonderful. The whole situation makes me feel like I cannot do a good job within my ministry. I just don’t know what to do. Wait it out? Fight it out? Leave?

At that point I was interviewing for another job. But I decided to stay and fight. Or rather God decided as I didn't get the job. I just wished when we had this conversation earlier today that I would have been prepared. Maybe it’s better this way. I had let the past go. Now I can only change how I react to things in the future. I am glad he brought it up, even if it is painful.

I worry though, about how much more of this I can take. Perhaps it is just the end of the year talking but, I do seriously plan on becoming pregnant, sometime soon. I don’t know how my body will react to that. What if I can’t do all that is expected of me? What happens after I have a child? I try not to think of these things but I am a perpetual worrier. I must pray more, I’ve gotten away from it. I just so badly want a normal life, one that I don’t have to work so hard to be happy at.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008


So it is this ministry that has led me to write this blog. I am currently at the end of my second year as Associate Campus Minister and Coordinator of Youth Ministry. It has not been an easy two years. In fact I have applied and sought out several (5 to be exact) other jobs over these two years. Fortunately God has gently told me that this is where I am suppose to be, even if it doesn’t always seem that way. A woman I work with told me that it took her two years to fully realize that this is a ministry not a job. I didn’t know what she meant until a few months ago.
In addition to the normal challenges that ministry brings I am faced with what I call our “dysfunctional” parish staff. Don’t get me wrong, I love all the people I work with. We are just all so unique and sometimes interact like oil and water. Also, it is balancing act working with high school students and college students. There’s always something going on.
Because of my situation for the longest time I thought I wasn’t good at this “job” I wasn’t cut out for ministry. Admidtly my heart is still attached to teaching but I know that God had called me here for a purpose.

A little background on the place where I work. I am the only person on staff under the age of 48, with the majority of the staff being in their 50’s and having worked here 10 years or more. The Priest is a brilliant and dramatic man who essentially is the boss of all us. However, I also have to other bosses I answer to. One for Youth Ministry who is a dear woman who I get along with really well. Sometimes I think her ideas for working with young people are a little off base but she does her job (D.R.E. grades K-8) really well. My other boss is quiet an eccentric man. He keeps to himself and no one knows a whole lot about him. He has such a kind heart and a passion for finding Christ in the least of God’s people. However, sometimes (most times) he treats me as a nuisance and expects me to do things similar to him. This is mostly where I am challenged. I often feel boxed in by his expectations of me. I don’t have a lot of freedom to do new programs or even do current ones in my own style. I am slowing feeling that this is changing.

What had changed most is me and my attitude. This past winter a beloved professor and mentor of mine ( and so many others) passed away from Cancer. He taught me so much about ministry and the always believed in my gifts. He didn’t tell me how hard it would be. How jaded I would become after the school I loved to much didn’t need me anymore, how the priest I idolized would leave the priesthood to marry a young woman, how my heart would break when he left this world. After a very spiritual experience on a Spring Break service trip, which I led by myself I realized what a gift I have. I know that my youth, my kindness, my openness are the gifts that I bring to these young people. For now I am here in this place that God has called me to. I am coming to realize that all these experiences have made me who I am. It is my role in ministry to wake up every day and ask God how I am best serve him that day.

The most challenging part is the hours. I rarely get to see my husband. It is currently 11:00pm on a Tuesday evening. My husband is safely tucked in bed, probably snoring away. I am in the basement of our building attending to the students who are studying for finals. My husband and I are planning on starting a family soon. I don’t know how my “job” will fit into all this but I do know that my child and family will be first. If the expectations of this job don’t allow for that it might be time for a change. But, we’ll worry about that when we get there!

Who am I?

Who am I?
I guess it is best to start with a short introduction of who I am and the abbreviated version of my journey thus far. When I was in middle school I was moved so often and so deeply my faith and minor religious experiences. My family belonged to a great parish in our small mid-west town. It was truly a community and a church family. I was active in my parish. I attended Catholic school my whole life and by the time I was in high school I knew that I wanted to serve God in ministry and religious education. I never looked back, I never questioned, and I never even toyed with the idea that I was called for something else. I just continued on full force into my college career. I chose to attend the local Catholic University choosing of course to major in Religious Studies with secondary education, minoring in Spanish and music just to add a little variety to my life. I considered a call to the religious life for a brief period of time but never really truly felt that call.
My college experience was unbelievable to say the least. I was blessed to be surrounded by teachers and students who helped me to grow in my spirituality. My formal theological education was a bit lacking but those four and half years were a time when I felt most intimately connected with God.
Unbeknownst to me, outside that college campus the world was changing. The human aspect of our Church was making decisions that would affect the faith that nourished my childhood years. The parish I had so loved and cherished was being closed. The schools I attended were suffering from lack of enrollment, yet I was blinded by all that. Until I got to the student teaching portion of my formal education.
I digress briefly for one moment to explain a theory I have on religious attitudes (it connects with my personal experience eventually). My parents are part of the generation that lived through Vatican II. They were part of the group that readily accepted these changes and the “freedom” that seemed to go along with them. They were married in the 1970’s where “chinga chonga” (lot’s of instruments) Masses were the norm. They had the theme from Romeo & Juliet played at their wedding and had a full Mass even though my dad wasn’t Catholic yet. I was born in 1980 and feel that during the time that I grew up our culture was still facing the effects of the free and easy 60’s and 70’s. Rules? The Catechism? What’s that? I thought we ditched the idea of Purgatory with Vatican II. This is the Catholic Church that I grew up in. Even my college experience was a reflection of this.
When I got to the student teaching part of my life boy was I shocked! Here I was 22 years old and I had NO IDEA that the Catholic Church was against the use of artificial contraceptives!! And that was just the beginning! How could I have gone my whole life without knowing “the rules”? If you are hearing “the rules” for the first time they sound kind of crazy (especially if the person you are student teaching with doesn’t explain them very well) and you might not always agree with them!
I made it through my semester of student teaching knowing that at the end of it there was a job waiting for me. Not a teaching job, but a job in the parish as Coordinator of Religious Education. Not only was there a job but there was an awesome priest who, I’ll admit now I totally idolized and had only dreamed about working with. He had been my high school chaplain and senior religion teacher.
I did love working with him and the other young gals that were my coworkers. But, towards the end of my first year there I was offered a teaching position at the Catholic Middle school in town. I so wanted to try my hand at teaching and gave up the parish position to teach. And I LOVED it! I loved it so much. I loved working with middle school kids. I loved being with young people all day long (the summers off didn’t hurt either). I loved the fact that we weren’t like the high school who hired nuns who wore habits and taught the Baltimore Catechism. It was hear that I learned where my theological knowledge was lacking, but when you’re teaching middle scholars you can take your time finding the answers and explaining things in simple terms. At the same time I was in a serious relationship with a wonderful man. I thought that this was the life! I could see myself working there for a lifetime, livening in my home town, and settling down and marrying the man I loved.
It was then that my hopes and dreams were crushed. After they had begged me to come and teach because they needed me so badly I got cut in the first of many teacher cuts, due to lack of enrollment and funding. I was truly devastated. My mind was made up that I loved teaching, I needed to teach, I wanted to teach, and I would teach no matter what it took! This man, who loved me so much, loved me enough to let me go and try out these new teaching wings of mine.
I moved to a town about 90 minutes from my home town. It was the first time I had lived away from my family. My first year was a challenge as I worked with high school students for the first time and found them to be more resistant to religious than middle schoolers. I missed my home desperately, especially my boyfriend. At the end of my first year, with a contract signed for the following school year my boyfriend and I got engaged. It certainly makes a difference knowing you are going “home” at the end of a school year. I enjoyed my seconded year more than my first; I was also working with middle schoolers again. I truly was sad to leave but was so joyful to know that I was spending the rest of my life with a man I was so in love with. I had no idea where I would be working. I was fairly certain that there wouldn’t be any openings at the school I had previously taught at, not to mention I didn’t want to deal with the messiness that was still happening in the Catholic School system. Then I heard about a position at the Newman Center, a new double position, two part time roles combined to create a full time employee.

An end and a beginning

Where or where to begin? As I sit here typing I wonder to myself if this will even last. I have started several blogs and websites in the past but have not maintained them for more than a few months. My reasons for starting this blog are many. For one I am amazed at the lack of ministry blogs that I see when I search out there on Google. Oh sure there are plenty of blogs that fall under the category of ministry or religion. Yet I find them to be either too theological or a little bit fluffy. I know one thing for sure, this blog with not be theological. I hope that it will not be too fluffy either. I do identify myself as a Roman Catholic and have and undergraduate degree in religious studies but I am by no means a theologian, I don’t think I ever will be. It is only in this recent year that I have found my spirituality again. This is another reason for writing this blog. As a young high school student I loved to write. I don’t write very often these days. One of my most beloved English teachers once told that to be a writer you must write every day. I also believe that in order to maintain my relationship with God I must pray every day. So this writing will be my prayer, my reflections my thoughts. I also feel as though I am on a journey of self discovery. It is only in recent months that I have come to recognize this. I wish that I had written more and journaled my past journey. I have come so far and don’t really want to relive or rewrite all of it. Finally blogging is the “it” thing these days. I am addicted to reading a couple of blogs daily. Perhaps, this blog will speak to someone else on a similar journey. Or maybe it might serve as a small form of entertainment to others. I guess it is also possible that no one will read this. After all it is just the ramblings of one solitary spiritual soul mostly speaking from the heart. I’m not sure how I feel about putting myself out there like this. We shall see.