Working for the Church to Stay in the Church

It’s a mistake to assume that everyone who works for the Church is a Spirit-inspired paragon of holiness. In fact, I often say that I work for the Church because my faith is so weak that working for the Church is the only way I stay in the Church!

When I started college I needed to find a work-study job as part of my scholarship. Unfortunately, being the lazy person I am, I waited too long to find something; by the time I looked at the job postings, most of the job were taken. By good fortune (or the work of the Spirit), the campus ministry department was looking for someone to run errands, clean the chapel, and set up before and clean up after Mass on Sunday nights.

I can say with all honesty that my work-study job probably kept me going to Mass in college. For two years I set up the lectionary, prepared the chalice and paton, and made sure all the liturgical ministers were checked in before Sunday night Mass at the university. While I wasn’t a particularly knowledgeable or active Catholic, I figured there wasn’t much sense hanging out to wait for Mass to get over so I could clean up — as long as I was there I might as well go to Mass!

Little did I know that taking that job would keep me attending Mass and (with the help of some excellent campus ministers, theology professors, and friends) propel me into a catechetical career. While I am keenly aware of the ways in which the Church fails to live up to her own ideals at times, I am nevertheless convinced that working for the Church has made my faith stronger. The Lord knows I need all the help I can get.