Making Music to My God

My amazing family – that’s me on the left!

Music has always been a central part of my everyday life and spirituality. I feel closest to God when I am singing. When I was six, my mom encouraged me to join my church’s choir. I took her advice and have been singing liturgical music ever since. I believe my musical spirit comes from God, so I seek to magnify Him with the gift of music. Each time I sing at Mass, I pray that the congregation will not just hear my voice, but God’s voice through the music I sing.

I am also passionate about serving children, teens, and their families. At my home parish in Maryland, I am an active member of the liturgical music and faith formation programs. For the last three years, I have had the opportunity to volunteer as a Vacation Bible School teacher. Witnessing the children’s openness to learning more about Jesus and the Catholic faith inspires and challenges me to grow in my relationship with Christ.

At Loyola, I worked as a campus ministry music intern. As a music intern, I prepared music for Sunday liturgies and created sacred space on campus through the planning of weekly student-led prayer services and Eucharistic Adorations. I also had the opportunity to organize and lead a three-day retreat for music ministers each fall. The campus ministry internship formed me in the Ignatian spiritual tradition as well as helped me grow as a minster and servant leader.

Summer at the Life Team Camp in Georgia.

Last summer, I served as a summer missionary at a Life Teen summer camp in Dahlonega, Georgia and lived in community with thirty other college-aged missionaries. Serving at Camp Hidden Lake offered me the opportunity to minister to teens from Catholic parishes across the United States. My time as a missionary taught me about my needs in community, the importance of communal and personal prayer, and the gifts of simple living.

This January, I traveled outside of the United States for the first time. I visited Life Teen’s mission base in rural Haiti. During my time in Haiti, I offered a spirit of hospitality to community members who visited the mission base for recreation, prayer, or to share a meal.

The past year, I have been searching and praying that God would lead me to a service opportunity or job where I could live in community and grow as a minister. When I discovered the Ignite internship application, I experienced a lot of consolation that the internship would be a great fit for me.

Our Sunday welcome meal, kicking off the year together.

The hospitality and welcome of the JSC staff and youth team have helped me transition to living in Ohio. On our first evening at the Rock House, the youth team and their families organized a delicious welcome dinner for us, complete with ice cream from Graeter’s! Black raspberry chocolate chip is one of my new favorite ice cream flavors!

Moving into the Rock House at JSC has been overwhelming (due to the sheer size of the house!), yet each day I spend at the house it feels more like a home. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as a steward to such a beautiful, historic home. In the next-ten months, I am excited to live and grow in community with the three other Ignite interns: Shannon, Joe, and José.

I hope the Ignite internship will allow me to grow as a minister of the Gospel and live out my call to be a missionary disciple of Jesus. I am excited to meet the many youth we will serve this year at the JSC!

“I will praise the Lord all my days. Make music to my God while I live” – Psalm 146