• Reflections

    The Power of Holy Week

    Through a study of Holy Week and daily rosary with our FOCUS missionaries, I was drawn deeper into the Lord’s ultimate goodness and love through His human emotion, His power, unbelievable sacrifice, and glorious resurrection. Through Holy Week, we are able to see how deeply Jesus cares for the world and in a way witness His vow to save it.  Monday: After reading parts of the Gospel of Luke and recapping Palm Sunday, Jesus rides in on a donkey to fulfill the Old Testament prophecies, proving He is the Messiah. Jerusalem, which is said to resemble the busyness of Wall Street, the Vatican, and New York City, is waiting for…

  • Reflections

    Welcome to Zuni

    “Welcome to Zuni” was not only a greeting, but an invitation to virtuous friendship, a desire for a deeper relationship with our Father, and sharing the Gospel with students. New Mexico reminded me of my littleness compared to our all powerful God in the night’s endless stars, gave me people who showed me Christ’s joy, and opened my heart to growing closer to Him through the Sacraments and service. The rental car’s tires hit the gravel around midnight, after we had driven for miles on empty roads underneath the stars, immersed in conversation. But the night and unknown was intimidating. We were eager to figure out the next step and…

  • Reflections

    Why I Run

    Hundreds of runners pumped their fists, half smiling as worn rubber soles carried them over the last steps through the finish line. They had made it. Their dedication to every mile, every physical therapy exercise, or sore legs had led them to this moment. If not for their commitment to the race, to the sport, and feeling of the breathes that followed when the legs slowed down, the finish line would not have come.  As the laughter subsided and the plates were cleared, one of the Young Life leaders started our devotional before club. She mentioned how we were all tired and stressed. I thought about how my days had…

  • Reflections

    21 Years

    Writing this, it’s a little over an hour until I turn 21 years old. Over two decades on earth, living these years. This is my beautiful, messy, amazing life. I’ve met so many beautiful people, heard unbelievable stories, witnessed the innumerable ways God works daily, taken breathtaking adventures, learned new (and sometimes hard) lessons, and put in my best efforts one day at a time.  Here’s 21 things I’ve learned in 21 years:  1. God loves you. Yes. Our Savior made you and knows you. He loves you more than you know. Jesus is the greatest love story.  2. Community is everything. Thinking about all the people who have cared deeply…

  • Reflections

    We were made for mission: SLS20

    It started with a drive back from a hockey game. The FOCUS missionary filled the car with chatter. She started talking about the conference I said I didn’t want to go to. She spoke truth into my worries. When I returned to my apartment, I couldn’t get the idea out of my head.  I’m always asking for permission from people. I double check. I clarify for the (sometimes) third time. I take forever to make decisions. When I told my mom about Arizona, her response was immediate. Go. It’s all I needed. This experience at FOCUS’s Student Leadership Summit was different than what I had experienced at SEEK. During the…

  • Reflections

    Why I am a Young Life Leader

    I first felt the call to be a Young Life leader one Sunday at mass, when our priest said kids long to be known, loved, and belong. I remember those feelings, passing by the Washboard at Timber Wolf Lake and remembering the long nights we’d spent jamming while folding for campers, weeknights tucked away in the comfort of the our leader’s living room talking about Christ, experiencing Work Crew with my friend Luke, deciding to go to camp for the first time, and knowing my leaders and anyone else I’ve met through this ministry are there for me. But my love for this ministry didn’t start out that way. Here…

  • Reflections

    Here I am: Learning to be Present

    A drive to the laundromat. A no phone dinner, where whoever flipped over their phone from the pile in the center of the table had to pay. Sitting at a bonfire with my friends. In all of these places, as the last weeks of our summer were fast approaching, my friend asked us a question. “What has God taught you this summer?”  For me, I was learning to be present. To be here.  I knew after training that leaving camp would be hard. The people I met were already becoming my friends and learning about how to share the Gospel was incredible. I worried about missing out on things and…

  • Reflections

    I Encountered Something More at SEEK 2019

    2 weeks ago I took a trip with some Catholic Student Ministries friends down to Indianapolis, where the SEEK 2019 conference was held by FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students). Here are some things I learned along the way. Try New Things This conference was very new to me. When my friend invited me to go, I told her I would think about it. Although the thought of seeing Fr. Mike Schmitz and NEEDTOBREATHE live intrigued me, I was nervous I wouldn’t enjoy it. But God had other plans. From playing Heads Up while in an hour long line at Panera to watching dozens of priests crowd the aisle to…

  • Reflections

    My Time on Work Crew

    My phone rang next to me as I finished the last set of my core routine. I was cross training today, so maybe Mom was calling to tell me the rest of my teammates were coming to join me in the weight room after their run. “I have a surprise for you!” she sang when I answered. I could barely hear her news with the blaring music, but I was also shocked at what I thought I had heard. “You got in to Work Crew!” she said again. Gratitude Every night around ten o’clock (or eleven, or twelve depending on the workload), 45 of us Work Crew members would gather…

  • Reflections

    Backpacking on North Manitou Island

    I’m not sure if my parents believed me when I said I wanted to go backpacking on North Manitou Island for a week. With no experience in camping, everyone in my family questioned my decision. I wanted to go for the community. It would be my last gathering with my leader and the senior girls in the Young Life at my high school before the fall split us in different directions. Although I had the chance to spend time with them, I learned so much more in the quiet beauty of God’s creation than I had expected. Quiet Hills and Hearts  Being without my phone, miles away from land, with…