Manresa Scholars

FAITH

Claire Anglim

Claire Anglim

I have had the privilege of working with the youth at St. Patrick’s/Our Lady of Guadalupe’s Parishes where I have been directing the confirmation program. The highlight of my year has been working with the youth on a monthly basis as well as leading the two confirmation retreats. One person who has really made a significant impression on how I view ministry is my site supervisor Adam. For those of you who know me, I am a rather detail-oriented person who loves to have plans. However, in ministry my plans never seem to work out the way I had intended. Adam has helped in this regard this year to help me understand that the plans are not always important and instead to focus on the present moment, especially the things that happen when the plans fall through. While at first, this was difficult to do, it has become much easier. Adam also taught me the importance of patience, a skill I never thought I possessed, but one that is necessary to have when working with 25 teenagers. Ministry is not easy work. To do it effectively you need support and encouragement. This is probably the area that Adam was the most outstanding. Whenever I was frustrated or thought that I couldn’t do it, Adam was there to offer words of encouragement and help. This placement was an amazing experience and I wouldn’t have been able to do it without Adam’s encouragement! !

Jean Baumgardner

Jean Baumgardner

This semester, Katie and I have had the privilege of working at St. Matthias as youth ministers. We started a youth group called FEET: Faith Empowering Engaged Teens, and since our first listening session in September, I have experienced the beauty and excitement that comes with watching the growth of a community. At the end of first semester, our group decided to visit Village at Manor Park, a local nursing home, to sing Christmas carols and visit with the residents. It was our first activity outside of the parish and when Katie and I arrived at the nursing home, I began feeling nervous. I worried asking myself, What if nobody comes? Will the youth respond well? As the youth arrived, I calmed myself down and proceeded to pass around the carols, and introduced our group to the eager looking residents. As we began singing, I remember feeling in awe of the confidence and joy in the voice of each one of our youth. One of my favorite moments of the evening was when Marcia, one of the teens, walked to the front and began directing the group to Silent Night. Then, she turned to the residents and with a wave of her hand engaged them in the song. The feeling of singing together, the happiness I felt from seeing the joy that radiated from each person’s face, is a moment that I will always be able to touch and one I frequently revisit. That moment will always be special to me because it reminds me of the incredible ability the youth at our site have to touch the lives of others and to give of themselves so genuinely, without reservation or expectations. Before I started at St. Matthias, I thought of myself as a person who entered new situations with an open mind, free of expectations. And yet it is moments like the one at Village at Manor Park where I find myself feeling surprised, humbled, and in awe. In these moments, I am reminded that these feelings of surprise and awe are because I had expectations. The youth at St. Matthias constantly amaze me and break any expectations I may have had causing me to step back and allow them to teach me. I have found God in these seemingly unexpected moments of surprise and with gratitude and excitement I look forward to all the surprises the rest of the semester will bring.

Katie Coldwell

Katie Coldwell

Katie is placed at Catholic Campaign for Human Development (CCHD). I am a Senior majoring in Theology and Social Welfare & Justice. Some activities I am currently involved with include, the Rite of Christian Initiation for Adults (RCIA) Coordinating Team, Campus Ministry Retreat Leader, and whatever else I manage to get my hands dirty in. As an intern for the CCHD, I am constantly reminded that the Catholic Social teachings are “The best kept secret of the Catholic Church.” I work at the St. Joseph’s Center, the headquarters for the diocese of Milwaukee. Here, I help plan retreats and events to educate parishioners on the importance of the Catholic Social Teachings. CCHD also distributes grants to non-profits on a local and national level. I assist in the allocating of these funds to different groups in the Milwaukee area. Since working at CCHD I have developed a deep appreciation for those individuals who work for non-profit/ministry organizations. I also have an increased respect for the Catholic Church, as I witness its continual efforts to aid those who are deprived, and to increase the dignity of life for every human being.

Kathleen Cullen

Kathleen Cullen

As I approach the final month of my official time at All Saints I reflect on the variety of experiences I have encountered this year. When I started in the fall I was working with young adults in their confirmation preparation. I also was able to assist with the Women’s Commons Center where I worked with women and children and collected donations for different programs that we started - from career workshops, to tutoring and drives to collect children’s clothing and school supplies. I have also been blessed to form many relationships with people at the Food Pantry where I do the intake of new clients and check records of other guests that come in during the week for food. Although these have been my primary responsibilities in the All Saints community, I have also been able to form relationships with other parishioners through first reconciliation and Holy Communion preparation classes, faith forums, town hall meetings, the meal program and other various events and other activities that I have helped with throughout the year. I have learned many lessons about working in a parish environment and being able to work with people where they are and love them in those moments even if ideas are not always the same. I have learned the importance of patience, compassion, and listening in all relationships but particularly when walking with someone on their journey. Most importantly, I have been able to see the love of God in each encounter at All Saints. Although there are challenging circumstances in every situation, I have learned to see God in these circumstances and keep praying and believing instead of just walking away. I will be moving to Oregon for my next volunteer experience in July. I will always take the lessons and memories of All Saints with me wherever I may be. And anytime I am in Milwaukee, All Saints will continue to be my parish home!

Garrett Gundlach

Garrett Gundlach

Casa Romero has forced me outside my comfort zone this year, plain and simple. I have become accustomed over the last four years at Marquette to doing service on or closely around Marquette's campus, working with Marquette students on retreats or the homeless in our surrounding neighborhoods, but Casa Romero has taken me a step further. No longer am I primarily a Marquette student reaching out to the community, but I am a staffer at the non-profit Casa Romero. My Marquette studenthood is almost an afterthought. It is a step into a new world, both figuratively, looking towards post-graduate non-profit work, but also literally, crossing the 6th street viaduct to the South Side of Milwaukee. I am blessed with a rich cultural diversity at Casa Romero, which works primarily with Mexican and Puerto Rican first and second generation immigrant families, but at the same time I am unaccustomed to such diversity and feel strangely uncomfortable. Being a lead bilingual retreat leader at Casa Romero also brings with it a number of transformative opportunities each retreat. Just as I am finding increasing comfort (and excitement!) in such culturally diverse situations, I am learning to break out of my Type-A, schedule-clenching shell and embracing the beautiful, go-with-the-flow tendency found in most Hispanic cultures. Just this weekend I led a Canasta Llena retreat and it was 1:30, time to work on the family goals! 1:30 and a full-group discussion was blazing, parents pouring their hearts out and their teens, with an uncommon passion, responding and prodding the conversation in new directions. 1:45 came, 2:00 came, and it went on, a testament to the Spirit overflowing the contents of our primitive vessel (the retreat schedule). It all got done, however, and each person left differently, left with a spark that I was so ready to cut off at 1:30. Garrett is placed at Casa Romero Renewal Center, a spiritual hub on the south side of Milwaukee, coordinating the retreat program "Canasta Llena," or "FullBasket."

Joe Hancox

Joe Hancox

As we approach the close of Lent and the final preparations for Easter are planned and practiced, I take a step back to examine my journey as a Manresa Scholar this past academic year. The upcoming Easter holiday is a special time for me. My placement at St. Rose/St. Michael parish has allowed me to be involved in the RCIA process for a group of twelve adults and teenagers. Since September when I arrived (and even before then for some of the twelve) Sr. Marilyn Winkel and I have been sharing with these twelve as much as we can about our faith, our beliefs and our Church. Anyone being introduced to some of these theological and spiritual topics for the first time would be overwhelmed. Furthermore, for all but four of these students, English is not their first language. This should amount to a one-two punch of confusion. However, thanks to some well-placed translation in native languages (Spanish and Hmong) and a keen intuition on the part of our students, what would normally be complex issues are broken down into manageable pieces. Also, there is something to be said about the universality of the message we as the "instructors" are trying to convey. The topic of God and church - as difficult as they can be to comprehend - speaks across cultures and languages. God might look different for our students who come from different places geographically and culturally, but when has God ever appeared similar to the person sitting next to us in the pew of our church? If sharing my beliefs with these adults has taught me anything it is this: even in our seemingly similar situations as believers or citizens, there is a beauty in the unique, the obscure, the messy. I have been shown (not told, but shown) just how wonderful God can be in God's variety. Our God is the God of our neighbors, but I must remind myself that my neighbors' God is also my God, with my neighbors' hopes and dreams and beliefs. So as the Easter Vigil approaches when we will welcome these and other individuals into our family, we need to remember that as we accept them we accept all of them - their joy, their struggle, their God. Easter is the end of this formal journey of RCIA, but it is the beginning of a new life. That new life is something we can all - old-timer or first-timer - join.

Katie Scannell

Katie Scannell

Katie is placed at St. Matthias Parish with Jean Baumgardner. I am a senior double majoring in English and Justice and Peace Studies. I am involved with the Manresa Outreach Team and the Center for Peacemaking. I also work as a tour guide on campus. I like running and reading. Jean and I will be working to re-energize the youth ministry program at St. Matthias. I am very excited to get to know the youth of the parish and discover what ideas they have. So far, it has been wonderful beginning to establish relationships at St. Matthias, and I feel very blessed to be a part of such a welcoming community.


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