UNIVERSITY of NOTRE DAME

INSTITUTE FOR CHURCH LIFE

Echo 12 Galveston-Houston

Steve Perry

Echo Class:
Echo 12 Parish Apprentice

Parish & Diocesan Placement:
St. Ignatius Loyola Catholic Church
Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston

Hometown:
Cleveland, Ohio

Undergraduate Institution & Area(s) of Study:
University of Notre Dame, 2015
Theology

What are your favorite hobbies and activities outside of your ministry work?
Outside of my ministry and hanging out with my awesome community, I love singing and listening to music. I also enjoy practicing Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and am (with all the resistance I can muster) getting into exercising regularly again. When I can find the time for it I love to pass time playing video games, as well.

What kinds of things are you up to in your Echo parish?
Quite a bit! I am going to be teaching a 2nd grade sacrament preparation class, serving as a catechist in RCIA, working with the middle and high school youth ministry, and hopefully meeting weekly with an imprisoned teen in Houston.

What is the most significant thing you’ve learned in Echo?
How to live with people. It sounds like something we all know how to do, but when you’re told that you’re going to live for two years in a house with three people you may have only known for two months, you learn how important it is to get to know who those people are, what their needs are, and how you can respond to them. You also learn how to be vocal about what you need–which is something I desperately need(ed) to learn how to do!

What advice would you give to Echo applicants?
I think that this program has something that it can teach every person who is in it. If you are accepted, be open to learning in a lot of unexpected ways. This is far from being simply an academic program, you really will be formed by it in many ways that you’re not expecting!

Colleen Campbell

Echo Class:
Echo 12 Parish Apprentice

Parish & Diocesan Placement:
Christ the Redeemer Catholic Church
Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston

Hometown:
Greenville, South Carolina

Undergraduate Institution & Area(s) of Study:
University of Dallas, 2015
Pastoral Ministry

What is your favorite quote, song, or image?
Quote: “If you are what you should be, you will set the world on fire.” -St. Catherine of Siena

As far as music, I love Beyonce and Nicki Minaj.

My favorite painting is “Ecce Homo” by Bartolomeo Montagna.

What attracted you to Echo and helped you decide to join the program?
I had always been interested in graduate school, so I was looking for a program that would prepare me well for serving the Church professionally, especially in the area of catechesis. When I found out about Echo’s unique program that features working towards an MA in Theology while getting hands-on experience in a parish, I knew that I would learn valuable theoretical and practical skills for working for the Church. Additionally, I knew that Echo’s spiritual and communal formation requirements would allow me to experience personal and spiritual growth so that I could become a competent and confident lay ecclesial minister.

What kinds of things are you up to in your Echo parish?
At Christ the Redeemer, my focus has been primarily on religious education and sacrament preparation. I have been writing a catechist’s supplemental activity resource that will help catechists make their lessons more interactive and hands-on. I have also been working on lesson plans for the sixth grade religious education class that I will be teaching this year, as well as getting familiar with the different programs, classes, and meetings that take place here at CTR.

What do you hope to do after Echo?
After Echo, I plan on getting married to my fiancé. God willing, I also hope to begin working towards my PhD in Catechetics to research and develop specific ways to catechize women and young girls according to the “feminine genius” of St. John Paul II.

Sarah Karchunas

Echo Class:
Echo 12 Parish Apprentice

Parish & Diocesan Placement:
Epiphany of the Lord Catholic Community
Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston

Hometown:
St. Louis, Missouri

Undergraduate Institution & Area(s) of Study:
University of Notre Dame, 2015
Theology, Political Science
Catholic Social Tradition (minor)

What is your favorite quote, song, or image?
“Have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves as if they were locked rooms or books written in a very foreign language. Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them. And the point is, to live everything. Live the questions now. Perhaps then, someday far in the future, you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”
-Ranier Maria Rilke, Letters to a Young Poet

What attracted you to Echo and helped you decide to join the program?
I was attracted to Echo because it was not just one facet of what I was looking for in a program, but combined all aspects I was looking for. It combined a Masters degree in a subject I loved to study, an opportunity to serve, and not only professional formation but also human and spiritual formation.

What have you enjoyed most about your Echo experience thus far?
Two things: First, I have enjoyed so much getting to know all of the amazing people at my parish. I am inspired every day by the commitment with which they serve those children, adults and families in our parish. Second, I have loved learning and growing with my community here in Houston!

What do you hope to do after Echo?
I’m hoping to use the next two years to discern where I am being called, but right now I hope to either work on for a diocese or archdiocese, work at a Catholic nonprofit or attend law school.

Tom Carani

Echo Class:
Echo 12 Parish Apprentice

Parish & Diocesan Placement:
Prince of Peace Catholic Community
Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston

Hometown:
West Chicago, Illinois

Undergraduate Institution & Area(s) of Study:
The Catholic University of America, 2015
Theology
Philosophy (minor)

What are your favorite hobbies and activities outside of your ministry work?
I absolutely love being outdoors.  Whether I’m hiking, hunting, fishing, or just sitting around a campfire with some good friends, I always find great peace when I am able to enjoy nature.  I hiked the Smokey Mountains this past spring, and I can’t wait to see what outdoor adventures Texas has to offer.

What attracted you to Echo and helped you decide to join the program?
Echo’s integration of academic theology and ministry experience convinced me that this program was the best post-graduate option for me.  By bridging the Church and the Academy, Echo helps theoretical theology become practical.  In other words, I knew that what I would learn in the classroom at Notre Dame would be directly useful in my day-to-day work with other people.  This authenticity and practicality drew me to Echo.

What is the most significant thing you’ve learned in Echo?
Everyone has a story and a reason as to why they do something or act a specific way.  Patience and a listening ear are the best tools I can use in ministry and community life.

What advice would you give to Echo applicants?
BE YOURSELF throughout the entire application process.  The Echo staff needs to get to know YOU, so don’t masquerade as a person you think belongs in Echo.  Instead, be yourself and be confident in the gifts and talents God has bestowed upon you.