What do you love about your work with Catholic Charities of East Tennessee?
As a Project Coordinator, my work can vary greatly from week to week, or even day to day. This flexibility is great for the agency because my work can ‘fill the gaps’ wherever additional attention is needed. In general, the majority of my work consists of research and writing. However, the most fulfilling aspect of my work thus far has been in CCETN’s response to COVID-19; e.g. our assistance programs. Working with people directly impacted by the pandemic, helping them resolve a housing, utility, or food insecurity issue, and knowing the difference it makes in their lives has been compelling and fulfilling work.
What is a favorite client memory?
It is a great blessing whenever we can help anyone. However, one special case for me was helping a father of seven who was furloughed because of COVID-19, work out a way to keep his home. As a father myself, I naturally empathized with him, his situation, and his worry. I’m really glad CCETN could help.
Why do you support CCETN’s mission and programs?
Working at CCETN is a great honor because each day we serve not only our God but also our neighbors. As our Lord Jesus instructed us, there are no greater commandments than to love God with our whole self, and to love our neighbors as ourselves (Mark 12). There can be no clearer fulfillment of these commandments than by helping to meet the daily needs of our most vulnerable neighbors - from expectant mothers and their unborn children to our homeless senior citizens, and people from every age and walk of life who seek help. For me, it is an honor to support our clients, agency, and Catholic Church as a Project Coordinator with CCETN, because there can be no greater honor than serving Christ.
Why are you thankful for CCETN’s donors?
Our donors touch the lives of every client. Our mission would not be possible without them. In the clearest of terms, their support and generosity is the difference between our vulnerable neighbors receiving help or going without. Donors may never recognize the faces of the people they have helped through their gift, but I am certain they have seen those same faces in our community without even realizing it.
Share a fun/unique/interesting fact about yourself:
I am a recent convert to Catholicism, joining through St. John XXIII’s RCIA in 2017. During college and at the beginning of law school, I did not believe or trust in God, yet I had great restlessness with the reasons for my disbelief. During my first year of law school, I learned that to effectively represent a client, one not only needs to understand the client’s position and the applicable rule of law but also to be well versed in the arguments against him/her. I decided to apply that lesson to the restlessness in my disbelief - to study Christianity to better argue why I did not believe. The more I read, the more I became convinced in the rationality and logical necessity for God to exist. In deeper study, I found Catholicism to have the best historical argument for being the Church established by Christ. It only seemed logical then to practice what I came to believe. As St. Augustine wrote, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our hearts are restless until they rest in you.” I am grateful that God used my restlessness to bring me out of my disbelief and into the Catholic faith, where my heart can rest in him.