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!

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