• 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…

  • Life

    Jesus, (this time has been hard, but) I Trust You

    “What are you writing on yours, Rachel?” Last semester, we were painting flower pots on a Women’s Retreat about growth and were decorating flower pots to fill with words of affirmation. I had written trust because it was something I always came back to in my relationship with the Lord. We need to put our trust in God. We need to trust in His plan for our lives, His goodness, and love for us. There was no need to ease back into life on campus after spring break. Everyone was faced with an unexpected reality. The rhythm I had been getting into of attending daily mass and holy hour with…

  • 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…

  • Life

    Plan with Me

    If you’ve met my mom, she’ll tell you I’m the worst at making decisions. That statement will begin the retelling of my childhood trip to the toy store when I would stare at the wall of stuffed animals and wonder about which one to choose.  A similar story rings true today, 15 years later, with planners. I love making to do lists to organize my thoughts in the craziness of college.  I’ve collected lots of tips over the years about how to be the most productive, from conquering the most important task first thing in the morning to checking off the top three priorities for the day. Today I’ll be…

  • Life

    My Word for 2020

    “For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we, though many, are one body in Christ, and individually members to one another. Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who acts of mercy, with cheerfulness.” – Romans 12: 4-8 There’s a shelf at my school filled with books faculty and…

  • 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…

  • Semester in Review

    Balance: Fall 2019

    The birds explode off the telephone line, taking to the skies in unison. Their flight reminds me of art class in middle school. I rested my elbows on the dried paint covering the table as my teacher told us about a verse in Matthew. He was reminded of the verse when he was having car trouble and saw the birds flying overhead. If the Lord provides for the birds in the air, the Lord will provide for you.  God reminded me of this almost every time I made the drive to my impromptu internship this semester. As those birds took flight in the blue sky, I repeated this truth.  I…

  • Life

    More than a Place

    November 19th was National Camp Day. I know, probably my new favorite day of the year.  I used to be confused when people explained ways they saw God. Some see Him in their friends, in the way the sun peaks through the clouds, or in a church. I see God at summer camp. I see Him in the kids who arrive at the cabin, who show us Christ’s love through their own knowledge, growth, and sense of wonder. I see Him in the counselors who are dedicated to making kids feel at peace, helping spread Christ’s joy, and love them well.  I’m not sure I can fully describe the way…