Hello faithful readers, you haven’t heard from me in awhile. Sean has done a great job with the blog and promoting what Catholic Charities does and why we do what we do. I have taken on many other projects while Sean has been working on the blog. I wanted to write one, however, because this is my last week at Catholic Charities, and I wanted to tell the readers what I have been up to.
I began to do a lot of work for Meg Kee, the Coordinator of the Angels of Hope food pantry here. I helped organize files, enter some data and some other smaller projects for the pantry behind the scenes. We keep track of all clients who come to the pantry in order to show how many people we serve, for grant purposes. I have been very active in participating in the operation of the pantry on Thursdays for our senior and disabled clients, and on Fridays for the general public. That has been a great experience, to have the opportunity to serve those in need, to see Christ in my fellow man and to help them however I can. I have also been seeing clients who come into our office and helping them in their time of need, and to being a patient ear and voice of hope for them. This direct service has been great for me to live out my baptismal call to practice charity in love.
I also created a Powerpoint presentation for use by the Mission Council of the Diocese to clarify what mission is and to promote it, both at home and abroad. I also worked with Sean to modify a presentation on end of life issues for use in the Symphony of Faith that is coming up in August. I primarily created slides about the Sacrament of Anointing of the Sick and a way to promote reception of the Sacraments at the end of life. One of my favorite projects that I was able to do was to read Pope Benedict’s first Encyclical, Deus Caritas Est (God is Love). Cynthia Colbert, the Executive Director of Catholic Charities of Central Texas, asked me to prepare a presentation on the Encyclical. This involved a careful reading of the Encyclical, and it was great to see what the Holy Father has to say about love, the love God has for man, the love that man has for each other, and ultimately how the Trinity is the ultimate source and summit of all love. I had the great opportunity to present it in front of the Catholic Charities staff meeting this week. It was well received and a great reminder on why love is an essential part of charity.
It has been great working with all of the wonderful people here, both staff and clients. I have learned a lot that will help prepare me for ministry in the Priesthood or in whatever capacity that God calls me to. I will be leaving Austin on August 11th for Convocation, a gathering of all the seminarians and many priests in the Diocese. On the 14th I will drive to St. Joseph’s Abbey Seminary College, a college seminary and Benedictine monastery in Covington, LA, about 45 minutes north of New Orleans. Orientation is the following day and classes start on the 18th! It is a very quick transition, and I am excited, nervous and everything in between. The campus is beautiful and secluded, with 1200 acres of surrounding forest. I will be studying philosophy for two years there, before moving to St. Mary’s in Houston for theology I look forward to deepening my relationship with Christ and discerning His call, whatever that may be. Thank you for following this blog, and for all your prayers for Sean and I.