By Mary Mertes
Dear Newman Family,
When I joined you my junior year of college, it was the best decision I’ve ever made. Accepting a position on the staff to serve you was truly a dream come true. I’m excited to share with you my next step, and sad to say that it will lead me away from Columbia.
I have been accepted into the Echo Graduate Service Program at the University of Notre Dame and will be leaving town at the end of the month. This weekend will be my last in the office so that I can visit family before leaving for the next 2 years. I’ll be studying for a Masters in Theology at Notre Dame during the summers and will spend the year serving an apprenticeship in a parish somewhere in the United States. By the time you read this I’ll know where I’m going, but I won’t know until later in the week!
Please know that no matter where I am you all will remain in my heart and my prayers! Being a member of this community has formed me in so many ways. The passion that our Church has is incredibly beautiful- passion for worship, for service, for learning. The experience of being a newman center and parish is such a blessing! The wealth of life experiences and perspectives that I’ve found have stretched me at times and I’m so grateful for the ways I’ve grown.
As Christians we are all called to service. I love a good holy hour, but a holy hour alone cannot be my path to sanctity. Serving this community has taught me how to love, how to allow the spirit to guide me, and how to pour myself out to the Church. Thank you so much for allowing me to love you and to walk with you on this journey of faith!