The Missionary Interns reflect on their time & experiences they’ve made at Star of the Sea
as they prepare to leave and begin the next chapter in their lives. . .
Getting the opportunity to serve here at Our Lady Star of the Sea has been an amazing blessing for me.
Being here, I have been able to grow much stronger in my devotion to the Catholic Church. This parish has such a marvelous heart for consistent devotion, which is something that is hard to foster living among ‘the world.’ On top of greater devotion, I find that I have also grown in my love for the heart of youth. I love the passion and excitement as well as their day-to-day growth and change. Here at Star, I have encountered such a wealth of personalities among the young people, showing me the beauty of each person’s uniqueness. Next year I will be continuing my college journey in Southern California, where I hope that I will be able to find a parish as in love with Catholicism as Our Lady Star of the Sea is.
– Joshua Hollcraft
I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” Then I said, here am I! Send me.”
Coming to Star with short notice left no room for any expectations. I had absolutely no idea what the Lord might have in store. I didn’t know that I would meet so many great examples of healthy, strong Catholic families or marriages. I never expected the Pastor to be the kind of priest that parishes dream of. I never would have guessed that the parish receptionist is basically glue when it comes to parish life. I knew that I’d be evangelizing the youth of this parish, but I could not have imagined how much they would show me Christ. I also knew that I would be working with fellow missionaries, but I most definitely did not foresee them healing & stretching my heart. So what did I learn from this Missionary Internship –what will I take with me? How has being a Missionary Intern at Star benefited my life? I know now that the Lord’s plan will always be better than anything I could try & put together. I’ve seen what it means to take up your place in this Church & I’ve seen what it could look like if you don’t. I’ve come to know that a parish can be so on fire that we would draw people to Christ. I will be forever grateful for my opportunity to serve as a Missionary Intern at Our Lady Star of the Sea.
– Bridgette Rueff
During my missionary work, I have learned a lot about developing and leading the high school program as the coordinator for Ignite.
I have been blessed to grow in holy relationships with the middle school and high school youth, and it has been humbling to watch them grow in a deeper relationship with Christ throughout the year. I feel ready to bring the experiences of the administration part of the internship into the next step of my life, where I will be continuing my college education as a business major. My heart goes out to all the wonderful parish families and youth that I had the privilege of getting to know throughout the year, and they will be the hardest part of me leaving. I came here to minister to the parish, but the families and youth have really shown me Christ’s heart in turn. You will all be in my prayers and on my heart as I move to Ohio in June.
Reflecting on my time as a missionary, here at Star of The Sea I can look on my experience with gratitude for all that I have learned and done.
I entered the missionary program with a familiarity in parish ministry, but grew in organization, correspondence, and building relationships through leading and coordinating the Fidelis and Confirmation programs. In Fidelis as the coordinator, my primary role was one of administration—paying special attention to the care of core team members and keeping parents involved. Confirmation was an experience that offered me with the opportunity to welcome those who are new to the church into existing programs through parent correspondence and overseeing the Decision Point curriculum new to our parish. Going forth, I can confidently say I have grown not only in all of the administrative duties of working within a parish, but also in the relational aspect which has brought me closer to Christ in return.
– Jacque Szczepanski
During my time as a Missionary Intern at Our Lady Star of the Sea, I have grown considerably in service to others and in love for God.
As witnessed by the community at Our Lady Star of the Sea, God is truly present in your community. I am grateful to have been allowed to participate in your celebration of the Eucharist and your outreach to one another and to the outside community. Through this missionary internship experience, I have learned to trust myself in my life of service. I have learned to develop relationships rather than networks. I have learned to love in new and unique ways. I will take a great deal from this experience, not least of which is the witness to God’s generosity, shown so clearly in the many members of your parish community. I hope to be able to give, in turn, what I have received to those I meet in the future: genuine love, fruitful support, and Christian, care-filled fellowship.
– David Harrell