Litany of Gratitude #3: My friend, Charles

November 21, 2011

Last week for the Litany of Gratitude, I shared the impact Fr. Carville had on my life because he invited me to attend CLI at Notre Dame.  One of the many graces from that trip was meeting a man named Charles Jumonville, who six years later had an enormous impact on my life (more on that in a sec).  Throughout college and in my early 20s, I worked with Charles in various roles on Leadership Team for the Diocesan Youth Office and with DYRT (the college retreat team I began).  Here is a picture of us from this trip to Notre Dame.   

Charles and Becky 1998 (I was a young’un!)  

Fast forward six years later….I can remember this day with vivid clarity.  Chris and I were sitting at our house on one of the many “hurricane days” you tend to have in Louisiana, and our phone rang.  I picked it up and Charles said, “Hey, Bec!  I have a proposition for you…I want you to come work at the diocese with me.”  I remember laughing out loud and saying, “Thanks, but no thanks.  I have a job.”  For some reason, I could not shake Charles’ crazy idea, and with Chris’ nudging I called Charles back a few days later to say, “Let’s talk!”.  The second I began full-time ministry work at the Diocese of Baton Rouge was the first time I felt at home in my professional life.  Charles’ invitation helped me to realize my deep calling to ministry, and I have never turned back! 

I worked two years full-time with Charles mentoring me, challenging me, and constantly educating me on the ways of ministry within the Catholic Church.  I remember during the first 6 months, frequently thinking he was trying to teach me too much and expose me to too much; however, his wisdom to help me understand the many elements of our Catholic faith and the many ministries within our church is education I draw on every day of my life.  In addition, a requirement to take the job was to commit to completing my Masters in Pastoral Studies through Loyola University Institute for Ministry.   That is a gift I will forever be thankful for as it impacted me profoundly! 

I left full-time work at the diocese when Brady was born, and Charles continued to encourage me and support me in completing my degree and in any part-time ministry work, including my passion– of ministry to and with those in their 20s and 30s.  It was with his blessing that Charis Ministries came into the Diocese of Baton Rouge in the first place, and he continued to let me work with Charis, while being a full time stay at home mom.  As many of you know, the rest is history…I now work part-time for Charis, and I enjoy my job and the ministry we do to and with those in their 20s and 30s tremendously (I am also blessed to have another director who supports and understand my call to motherhood and allows me to live my “both/and” call to be mom and minister).  

Charles and Becky 2009 at Jumonville Advent Party

While I have shared much about the professional impact Charles had on my life, he grew into one of mine and Chris’ very dear friends, and he still is today!  CPJ, thank you for your constant support and encouragement in my vocation as wife, as mother, as writer, and as lay minister.  I will always be thankful that you picked up the phone 7 years ago to ask me your “crazy question”! 

Who in your life invited you to participate in something that changed your life? 

Becky is an Ignatian-trained spiritual director, retreat facilitator, and writer. She is the author of the Busy Lives and Restless Souls (March 2017, Loyola Press) and The Inner Chapel (April 2020, Loyola Press). She helps others create space to connect faith and everyday life through facilitating retreats and days of reflection, through writing, and through spiritual direction. With nearly twenty years of ministry experience within the Catholic Church, Becky seeks to help others discover God at work in the every day moments of people’s lives by utilizing St. Ignatius’ Spiritual Exercises and the many gifts that our Catholic faith and Ignatian Spirituality provide.

You May Also Like…


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *