Deciding a commitment to a Volunteer Missionary Year has been a leap of faith for me, and I am excited to travel this journey. Not only will I be helping students on college campuses learn about Christ, and/or become closer to Christ, it will also give me an opportunity to discern a vocation.
To start this mission, I am to be fully funded and pledged before I start. Starting date is August 24, 2020.
UPDATE: Due to the Covid-19 crisis and the inability to physically fund raise, we are permitted to continue to fund raise in this manner throughout the year until we are fully funded.
You can donate several ways:
- Through my GoFundMe account
- Sending a check to St. Aloysius on my behalf will make your donation tax deductible, just put Youth Mission - AGZ in the memo.
Address: St. Aloysius Church
211 W. Mason Ave.
Buckley, WA 98321
To express my gratitude for your donation, I will carry your name with me in prayer on every mission I am on and throughout the rest of my life for giving me this opportunity to serve others.
If at this time you are unable to help me financially, please share my link.
Your support is so important to me, and I especially ask for you to support me in prayer during this Missionary year.
And pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak. Eph 6: 19-20
For more information on the Saint John’s Society and The Newman Center at Oregon State University, please see the links below.
I have been a member of St. Aloysius most of my life. The year before my birth was a very tumultuous time for my parents and older siblings. Andrew, the sibling before me, had passed away from a very rare cancer at the age of two. God took Andrew to heaven, but in His divine providence and unfathomable goodness, blessed my parents with twins!
My twin brother Aaron and I were ushered into the world one year after Andrew passed. Due to complications at birth, St. Aloysius' former pastor, Fr. Vanasse, baptized us at St. Francis hospital with water he had gotten from a holy well in the Holy Land. We then had the other half of the baptism ceremony with the oils at St. Aloysius.
Growing up as an altar server gave me an appreciation for my faith and the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. Being involved with the RE and Youth Group programs helped me to continue along those line. As a young adult I stepped into the role as an usher, became a member of the Knights of Columbus, and now, here I am, wanting to do mission work!
Most of my renewed exposure to the faith and desire to do missionary work came from the Ignite Your Torch retreats that the parishioners of St. Aloysius so generously help support in sending me to. If I had not been exposed to such enthusiasm, love for the faith and support for the human condition, and the friendships formed with like-minded Catholic youth, I probably would not have considered this opportunity of life.
I am one of the coordinators for the Young Adult Swing Dance group at St. Aloysius, created to bring together liked-minded Catholic youth and young adults that I had met at Ignite Your Torch retreats over the years. These young adults came from surrounding parishes throughout the state, some as far as Oregon. We were taking this opportunity of community to develop a program to help enlighten the faith of young adults that are thirsting for a deeper relationship with Christ. Unfortunately Covid-19 ushered in a different agenda that put our plans on hold.
I first became interested in missionary work with the Saint John Society after attending the GO-FISH retreat run by the Newman Center at Oregon State University. Over that weekend I saw the work of evangelization first hand and fell in love with it.
Later in the year I was invited to a retreat called Alpha. This is where I encountered Christ and heard a calling from God to serve him as a missionary. During this retreat I came to the realization that my faith was weak and when I saw such great joy in the priests and missionaries, I wanted that for myself.
Seeing how Christ has worked in my life through campus ministry, I now have a strong desire to evangelize people and spread the teachings of Jesus Christ.
The Volunteer Missionary Year Program through the Newman Center is a 10 month service commitment for recent college grads and young adults focused on deep formation in the faith through prayer, intentional community, and ministry service. The volunteer missionaries abstain from dating and working in order to fully commit all of their time for personal sanctity and the mission of evangelization.
The Volunteers are responsible for assisting the evangelization by running faith formation programs, retreats, and events provided for the students of Oregon State University. They also mentor students one on one to help them deepen in their spiritual life and act as house fathers and mothers for the Newman Households program (Catholic student housing).
Each Volunteer lives out a vow of poverty, and as such commits to fundraising their living expenses for the duration of the year.
Since I will be spending this missionary year concentrating my time and energy on the volunteer ministry, all donations will be used for retreats, rent, utilities, groceries and travel. Any amount past my goal will be used towards students to attend retreats, with no cost to them, at the Newman Center - Oregon State University.
By doing this missionary year, not only will it benefit me in personal growth in my faith and promote the New Evangelization, but it will also help the students involved with the Newman Center on campus to encounter Christ.
Saint John Society
The Saint John Society is a Society of Apostolic Life dedicated to the New Evangelization. This Society was founded in Buenos Aires in 1990 by a group of missionary men who are convinced that Christ and the new life that He offers is the most profound, transformative factor in a person's life. For this reason they have dedicated their whole lives to serve the poor and college students. In Oregon, the Saint John Society, alongside their sister order - the Society of Mary, runs the Catholic Newman Centers at Oregon State University and Portland State University.
Oregon State Newman
The Newman Center is the Catholic campus ministry at Oregon State University. All its energies are dedicated to the evangelization of students. We reach out on campus, form at the Newman Center, and then send off into the world. Winning the university for Christ is our goal, consequently forming the next generation of leaders. All we do is synthesized in our motto: “STUDENTS FOR CHRIST, CHRISTIANS FOR THE WORLD."
Alpha: A course for lapsed Catholics and those interested in Catholic Christianity
Venture: For incoming Catholic freshmen who want to integrate faith and college life and make new friends.
Fraugua: (to forge) A program ran by the Religious and Missionaries to form Sophomore and Junior Students
Omega: For seniors who have been formed by the Fragua program and are preparing to be sent into the world.
Newman Households: For students living off campus who want spiritual formation in the context of a Christian household community.
Athletes Bible Study: For Catholic college athletes at OSU who want to explore the challenges and virtues of Christian athleticism.
Spanish Bible Study: For students wanting to connect their Catholic Christian faith with their cultural experiences.
Dorm Ministry: We understand the importance of winning souls for Christ early in a students college life and are excited to be launching an in dorm ministry this year to form freshmen.