Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Oh the places you'll go!

As I was finishing up my senior year in high school, I received a book from my youth minister, Kennya Gonzalez called, “Oh the places you’ll go!” by Dr. Seuss. This endearing book takes the reader into a brightly colored and fanciful adventure on learning about challenges that can be overcome. “Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting. So…get on your way”.

As I get closer to graduation, I am preparing myself for the next mountain in my life; Campus Ministry Internship at the University of Notre Dame. This year long position will provide me with the opportunity to grow personally, spiritually, professionally in the Church. However, there is one small but big problem; a two bed room house is provided, but that doesn’t include a meal plan- I do not know how to cook! I can’t ask mom dukes for help, because she doesn’t cook. I guess its back to the old school, chicken noodle soup with a soda on the side.What attracted me to applying for the internship at Campus Ministry is being able to prudently apply what I have learned in my bachelors’ degree in Theology to a pastoral context. Also, this will give me the opportunity to discern what exactly I want to do in the Catholic Church. As an intern, I will have the tasks of discovering possible areas of ministry, which include sacramental preparation, religious education, retreats, bible studies, catechist formation, prayer and liturgy planning.

If you know me, then you know, I will die for Mother Church. I have a tremendous passion for the lay apostolate, and I inspire to glorify God through my gifts and talents. Also, I have been waiting for an opportunity like this my entire life. I have been buried in Catholic books for the last four years, and I am sick of it. It’s time to start “Doing Theology”; I want to prepare people to live the sacramental life. I want to touch the hearts and minds of others, and I want to be a witness of Christ to the Notre Dame community.

Dr. Seuss says, “You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. / You can steer yourself any direction you choose. You're on your own, and you know what you know or in other words, “For I am the least of the apostles, not fit to be called an apostle, because I once persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am, and his grace to me has not been ineffective. Indeed I have toiled harder than all of them; not I, however, but the grace of God that is with me” (1 Cor. 15:9). Or quite simply, “Did you hear about the rose that grew from a crack in the concrete?... Funny it seems, but by keeping its dreams, it learned to breathe fresh air. Long live the rose that grew from concrete”- Tupac (How did I go from Dr. Seuss, to St. Paul, to Tupac?) I am really excited to embark this new chapter in my life (Wow so cliché). Hopefully, it will help me develop the proper initial pastoral competence to help me grow as a future leader in the Church. Moreover, I hope this experience will help me achieve integration through Catholic theological reflection, professional campus ministry training, and maintaining the desire to build up the Notre Dame community. To sum it up, when you have found your vocation, you learn to become what you already are. And you will be the guy who'll decide where you'll go. /Oh the places you'll go. I will be working on the third floor of the Coleman-Morse Center or as the young people say nowadays-3rd flo'.