I guess before I tell you how I got to Christ in the City. I have to tell you how I came back to Catholicism.
I am a cradle Catholic. My faith journey really began in high school with Stubenville, Lifeteen, and Covecrest. Side note, if you are in high school these are three things you definitely want to experience. I wish I was 15 so I could go again.
I went to college and I wasn’t really practicing my faith and was living for the world.The summer before my Junior year of college I was searching. My heart longed to know what it meant to be truly happy, the lasting kind. I also wanted to know what authentic womanhood looked like. I read every book under the sun on these topics from Ghandi to Delai Lami. I decided to return to my roots and started watching the girl’s sessions for Stubenville Conferences. I could feel in my heart calling me back to Church. So, I went to confession for the first time in years. I started going to daily mass and before I knew it I was learning more than ever about my faith and falling in love with it. My old ways became apart of the past. I had come Home to God and my faith.
So with my recent reversion to my faith I became open to a lot more things and was looking for adventure.
Then one day my best friend texted me this.
Colorado sounded fun so I googled the organization, CiC, that we would we going to. I was inspired and amazed. I had not run across program as fully centered on the sacraments and the Catholic faith as CiC. I wanted to experience it.
I went with ten others from my college on a Alternative Spring Break Trip. Beautiful things happen when you drive across the country to serve others. It was kind of like getting my feet wet. For five days, I got a taste of what it would be to be missionary. Even though I was there a short amount of time I was formed. I went a few street walks. I learned about what it meant to be a missionary, what it meant to served, and how service could be a prayer. I got to experience living with a huge group of people, many of whom I would not have chosen to live with. Overall, I liked it and it left me wanting to experience more.
So, I went back in the summer for two weeks for Summer of Service. Those were the best two weeks of my life, but they were also intensive. Things like waking up for mass at 6 in the morning, hand washing dishes for thirty people, were my first taste of community life.There was even more formation and more talks. I sat in on the classes that the year long missionaries were taking. I even made a very close friend on the street who Christ in the City maintained a relationship with even after I left for the summer. I loved my summer community and I loved getting to live with people who were also trying to live out Catholicism. When I got home, I felt complete culture shock. Suddenly, my life didn’t feel like real life anymore. My heart longed to go back.
God provided and I returned to Christ in the City once again for a second Alternative Spring Break Trip during my Senior year of college. This time I would be helping and doing a lot behind the scenes things but also participating in the Alternative Spring Break Trip. I began to see the importance of Alternative Spring Break trips this time. Spring breakers were only there for a week yet their experiences were profound. It was enlighting to see the impact the experience had on those who came on alternative spring break trips. The missionaries provided a powerful witness. They gave everything to serve the Lord and that spoke volumes. People come from all over the country to spend a week at CiC and take back what they learn to their own lives. I loved how many lives the mission was able to touch by opening its doors to hundreds of college and high school students over spring break.
And now, I am going back for an entire year. I know God has many challenges and blessings in store for me. I can’t wait to go back home.