When I ask myself, “Who in my present life am I thankful for?”, the names of the men and women in this photograph, who are college students at the University of Georgia, pop into my head. I have had the privilege of working with most of them while planning and facilitating Charis Retreats at the Catholic Center.
I am thankful for their joy, for their love of life, and for their enthusiasm. I am thankful for their hysterical sense of humor and their laughter. It is contagious!
They have deep faith lives and live lives of faith. They understand their baptismal call to holiness. This picture captures men and women in early adulthood who are already involved in our Church as catechists in religious education, JustFaith participants, Confirmation leaders, youth ministry leaders, retreat leaders, and social justice activities. They are discerning religious vocations, married life, and their professional calls. They are asking deep questions of faith and life. They have so many Sacred Stories, and they are willing to share them with their peers on retreats and with the youth. They fill me with hope, and our church needs to celebrate them!
These men and women come into our home as babysitters and as friends to plan, to eat together, to celebrate success at ministry event, and to share holiday meals. They are an important part of our lives here, and people I want my children to know. They are role models for them.
I am thankful for these amazing men and women I have the opportunity to minister to and with!
Who inspires you? Who makes you hopeful?