by Craig Pohl
It wasn't until after a powerful encounter with Christ in my parents' woods that I knew spreading the good news of Jesus Christ was going to be a key part of whatever I did with my life. I was fourteen when it happened. I called out to God in desperation and he came to me in a way that I can't fully explain or understand.
Now, that's not to say I'm a saint. Far from it. But I do know what defines me and who I amor, should I say, whose I am. I know my life has an eternal purpose and I know which direction I need to go.
Yet, for years, I thought I was going to be a priest because, let's face it, if I was this passionate about God, then there really was no other place for me, right? Wrong! The Lord taught me a beautiful lesson: that he is calling lay men and women to love him passionately and to serve him in vast arenas of life where priests and religious just can't go. It's been a real adventure following God's plan for me.
I finished my master's degree work in 2009 at Sacred Heart, where I was just chomping at the bit to put what I learned into practice in a parish. I ended up accepting a position as the director of evangelization for two neighboring parishes in the Diocese of Lansing where, by the grace of God, we were met with relative success. It was in the classroom at Sacred Heart that I learned the precise modes and models that proved to be most effective in facilitating real conversion in people. This knowledge was indispensible for the work I was tasked with.
In 2010, I married the love of my life and we recently welcomed our third child into the world (and into the family of God!). I am now in a new position with the diocese, as director of the Office of New Evangelization, where I am serving under Bishop Earl Boyea to help execute his plan for a response to the call for a New Evangelization.
It's tremendously exciting for me to be a part of God's work in this way, but, more than that, it is a profound honor for me to bring my gifts to the feet of Jesus and to follow wherever he leads.
Craig PohlCraig Pohl is director of the Office of New Evangelization for the Diocese of Lansing. He earned his Master of Arts in Theology from Sacred Heart in 2009. Craig lives in Pewamo, Michigan, with his wife, Allison, and their three children. Craig has served the Church in various ways, from youth ministry to teaching high school philosophy and theology to working for Renewal Ministries.