Christmas break 2009 I thought I had everything planned out for my life after graduation. Upon graduating from Franciscan University of Steubenville in May 2010 with a double major in Theology and Philosophy, a wonderful group of friends, and a deepening intimacy with the Lord, I would move to Boston to pursue my long-time passion of photography. Then, sitting by the fire one night with my father, I confessed to him that in fact all of my planning was not resting peacefully in my soul and I felt God calling me in a different direction—to a life of service, a life of missionary work abroad, a life of living as the Lord’s hands and feet, eyes and ears, heart and life to those who most need him, a life of radiating the love of Christ.
Since that moment I have experienced the profound love and support of a mother, father, and brother and many close friends and family members who stand behind me urging me on to follow God’s call.
It wasn’t long—two weeks to be exact—before I found Heart’s Home online and immediately fell in love with the simplicity and depth of their mission of compassion, the contemplative devotion and sacramental life of their missions, and their answer to the dire need for respect for the inherent dignity of the human person. Over the past year the Lord and His most holy mother have been gently teaching me the pain, love, and strength of the cross and the beauty of being a presence at the foot of the cross. Without knowing it, this teaching has been all the while preparing me to walk the path to which God was calling me—the path of a Heart’s Home missionary.
With such peace, joy, and zeal that can only come from the Holy Spirit, I look forward to my December departure for Austria to begin an 14 months of presence, compassion, poverty, and transformation—but most of all love, a life of love. As a Heart’s Home missionary, as a troubadour of the enchanting love of Christ, that is my call—to live of love. To leave you with the simple and beautiful words of St. Thérèse of Lisieux, patroness of missionaries:
“To live of love is to sail afar
And bring both peace and joy where’er I be.
O Pilot blest! love is my guiding star;
In every soul I meet, Thyself I see.
Safe sail I on, through wind, or rain, or ice;
Love urges me, love conquers every gale.
High on my mast behold is my device:
‘By love I sail.’”