Well, a lot has happened since I last wrote one of these all the way back in January. I left off saying that my plan for the remainder of the fellowship was to dive into the unknown. Little did I know how much of my fellowship would be the unknown. Back then, Corona Virus was just something we heard going on in China, we still did not know if it would make its way to the US. Of course, we all know that COVID-19 made its way to the US and completely changed everything about our way of life. For me, that meant my students at Rider were sent to their homes to finish the semester and Saint Ann’s limiting the number of people in the physical office. So I went back home to PA and began figuring out how to be a Campus Minister from my home.
It became completely unknown; I had no idea what my days would look like or what of the events we had planned would be able to continue. I found my students were overwhelmed, much like myself at times. I quickly realized that trying to hold the events we had planned virtually would not be to the benefit of the students, so we switched to focus on doing a simple 15-minute prayer session once a week. These prayer sessions allowed the students to actively bring their faith into the current world without overwhelming any more than they already were. In the end, it was not the ideal situation, but we made it work and the students seemed to really enjoy the programming.
One really sad part of the pandemic was moving home to PA and no longer living with Q and Cat. One of my favorite parts of the fellowship was the community I had with these ladies. I miss seeing them every day, but we came up with a pretty good system. We decided to have dedicated community time each week. We took turns planning the time, one time it was watching a movie, a craft, a conversation about faith, or sharing a meal over FaceTime! It was not the ideal situation either, but I am grateful for it. Leaving this fellowship, we have already had practice in keeping our community going at a distance. I know that when I move up to Boston (don’t worry I’ll tell you about that in a minute) and Cat and Q are in different areas of Jersey that these two ladies and I will be able to keep our community going.
I also began looking towards next year, both for Rider and myself. With Rider, I was able to help get strong leaders in place for the club. I then worked with the students to create a new constitution for Catholic Campus Ministry. I also got to help the students begin their conversation about plans for next year and then the greater joy sitting back and listening to their ideas and seeing their visions of the club. I am so excited for the future of this organization. I only wish I could spend one more year to see these students blossom, but I also know that God is calling for a new person to help them on their journey. All I can say is that person is beyond blessed.
So where will I be next year?? Any guesses?? Well, I told you up above, I will be moving to Boston so that’s a hint!! Ok, I’ll tell you! I am going to Boston College! I am enrolled in their dual degree program pursuing an MA in Theology and Ministry and an MA in Mental Health Counseling. Going into this year I was pretty sure I wanted to pursue a career in ministry, and this year confirmed that for me. It also told me that my passion for mental health was really a call for a vocation. I am meant to be helping people. Right now I envision my vocation working on a college campus serving both as a campus minister and guiding students in their faith but also in the personal counselor role helping them with mental health because so many college students struggle with this. I currently have only found one person serving in a dual role like this, and guess what, he is at BC, so I will hopefully meet him and get to know what his job is like! I am excited to head up to BC and continue the growth I have had with the fellowship this year.
I am so thankful to have done the FaithJustice Fellowship. This position has pushed and challenged me in the best of ways, but at the same time has brought so many blessings and moments of joy. I want to thank Steph, Mare, and Maggie and the rest of the CFJ community for guiding me through this year. I will not say goodbye because I know I am in the vortex, this is most definitely a see you later. Thank you all for reading and following along this year.