by Mary Giroux
St. John Paul II says, Life with Christ is a wonderful adventure. In my post-studies experience, that would be an understatement. I am the fourth oldest of fourteen children. I was born and raised in a Catholic home, but it was not till my adult life that I claimed the Faith to be my own.
Ministry has always been a part of my life. My parents, Larry and Cassie Giroux, have always been involved in serving the needs of the poor, the marginalized, the lonely, and the needy of all sorts. My parents never hesitated to feed the hungry, clothe the naked, or visit the imprisoned. I wanted, and still want, to be just like them. It took me a while to discover exactly what a life in ministry would look like, but at the seminary I learned a lot about myself and where God was calling me.
There have been many times in my life when God made himself known and gave me a nudge in one direction over another. Looking back ten years ago, I never could have imagined living the life I am living today. As director of campus ministry at Cardinal Mooney High School, I have an opportunity to get to know the youth of today. It is my job to challenge them to serve, encourage them to be open to Christ's love, and inspire them to pursue truth. As a theology teacher, I get to encourage minds to think about the truths Christ has revealed and to apply the Catholic Faith to every aspect of life. As young adult minister, I get to invite young men and women to know Christ's love through the Sacraments, prayer, the community, and service.
Each job title I hold has different responsibilities, but they all have one thing in common: the goal. All Christians are called, in some capacity, to advance the New Evangelization. I always thought that advancing the New Evangelization was giving talks to hundreds of listeners, starting a new organization to serve the world's hungry, working to end abortion, and reaching other seemingly unreachable goals. These are forms of a new kind of evangelization, but that is not where God wants me right now.
God wants me to be his face, voice, arms, and leg—and there is nothing I would rather be doing with my life. Relational ministry is one of the most important and rewarding ingredients of my line of work. The youth I get to meet, teach, and learn from have done so much for my faith. I have found Christ in the youth of today! They give me hope for a brighter future for the Church and strength when I need it most. As St. John Paul II says, It is Jesus that you seek when you dream of happiness; He is waiting for you when nothing else satisfies you.
I found Jesus in a life of ministry. I am so thankful to have found Christ in young men and women. Because of the spirit of Christ I have found in them, I have found happiness.
Mary GirouxMary Giroux graduated from Sacred Heart in May 2015 with a Bachelor of Arts in Pastoral Theology. She is director of campus ministry and teaches theology at Cardinal Mooney Catholic High School in Marine City, Michigan. She also is the young adult minister at Ss. Cyril & Methodius Slovak Catholic Church in Sterling Heights, Michigan.