UNIVERSITY of NOTRE DAME

INSTITUTE FOR CHURCH LIFE

Echo 12 Indianapolis

Hope F.

Echo Class:
Echo 12 Parish Apprentice

Parish & Diocesan Placement:
St. Michael the Archangel Catholic Church
Archdiocese of Indianapolis

Hometown:
Knoxville, Tennessee

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

What are your favorite hobbies and activities outside of your ministry work?
I absolutely love (and miss!) writing about theology and life, faith and culture, literature and liturgy…(the sort of thing that you’ll find all the time on Oblation!) I’m also a huge fan of hiking and outdoorsy things. And if you don’t have a lot of time to spare, never ask me about J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, or Mumford and Son’s first two albums! (#obsessed)

What is your favorite quote, song, or image?
I’d have to say that it’s J.R.R. Tolkien’s, “Not all those who wander are lost.” Thinking about Christian life as a pilgrimage, with our sights fixed on the home of heaven, has carried me through both the struggles and joys of my life. We are all on pilgrimage toward the God who loves us, and so even if we feel like we are wandering, we are not lost, because Christ Himself is the Way!

My favorite song currently is Mumford and Sons’ “Not With Haste”– “Do not let my fickle flesh go to waste, as it keeps my heart and soul in its place. And I will love with urgency, but not with haste.”

What kinds of things are you up to in your Echo parish or school?
Lots of ministries, because my parish staff is pretty small, and so we all do a good bit! I’m beginning a young adult ministry program, teaching with the RCIA, working with both our jr. high and high school youth ministry programs, and serving as a catechist for our second graders.

What advice would you give to Echo applicants?
A grad student gave me this advice my sophomore year of college: “Don’t worry about ten years down the road too much. Don’t worry about prestige. Go where you will become holy.” I would say this: pray, and ask God to reveal to you where you are supposed to go to become holy. Because by becoming a saint, you will become all that God has created you to be, and you will use your gifts and talents that He has given you for the best purpose! His plan is always way better (and a LOT wiser) than our short-sighted ones.

Shaughn Phillips

Echo Class:
Echo 12 Parish Apprentice

Parish & Diocesan Placement:
Christ the King Catholic Church
Archdiocese of Indianapolis

Hometown:
Military Brat

Undergraduate Institution & Area(s) of Study:
University of Dayton, 2015
History

What are your favorite hobbies and activities outside of your ministry work?
I love to play guitar, read, rock climb, go camping, and DJ.

What attracted you to Echo and helped you decide to join the program?
I wanted to serve the Catholic Church and saw the Echo program as a beautiful opportunity to grow in my formation as a lay ecclesial minister.

What kinds of things are you up to in your Echo parish?
I am starting a young adult ministry, helping with RCIA, and assisting in religious education.

What do you hope to do after Echo?
I hope to work to continue working in young adult ministry or work within a Marianist

Stephanie Sonnick

Echo Class:
Echo 12 Parish Apprentice

Parish & Diocesan Placement:
St. Gabriel the Archangel Catholic Church
Archdiocese of Indianapolis

Hometown:
Ridgewood, New Jersey

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

What have you enjoyed most about your Echo experience thus far?
Over the past couple of weeks, I have truly enjoyed the frustrations of trying to reconcile my idyllic vision of the Church with the reality that I find at my parish. While it might sound strange to “enjoy frustrations,” I can honestly say that being challenged by the reality of my parish has allowed me to ponder even more deeply what it means to be a disciple of Christ and what it means to “be Church” in the modern United States.

What kinds of things are you up to in your Echo parish?
So far, here at St. Gabriel’s I have begun to serve as a 7/8th grade catechist. I also provide bilingual support to the Director of Faith Formation and am working towards providing formation for catechists at their monthly meetings. In the coming weeks, I will also transition into a mentorship role for our parish’s female chapter of “Christ Renews His Parish.” I’m also looking forward to helping to oversee our parish’s Quinceañera retreat, and to help chaperone high school students at the National Catholic Youth Conference here in Indy!

What do you hope to do after Echo?
Right now, I have too many ideas concerning what I might do after Echo. But that in itself is a blessing, because it seems that the skills I am acquiring during my time in Echo will provide a strong foundation for whatever comes next.

What advice would you give to Echo applicants?
My advice to Echo applicants would be to pay attention to “the small things” as you discern whether or not this program is right for you. Don’t be let down if you don’t have an “aha moment;” I certainly did not have a vision or series of dreams in which God told me verbatim that I was being called to enroll in this program. However, I see now that all the “small things” – my interest in the program, the support of the Echo staff in answering my questions, my dis-interest in other programs – were God working in His way to let me choose Echo.

Sean Driscoll

Echo Class:
Echo 12 Parish Apprentice

Parish & Diocesan Placement:
St. Pius X Catholic Church
Archdiocese of Indianapolis

Hometown:
Fort Wayne, Indiana

Undergraduate Institution & Area(s) of Study:
University of Notre Dame, 2015
Chemical Engineering
Catholic Social Tradition (minor)

What is your favorite quote, song, or image?
My favorite song would have to be “Every Little Prison (Deliver Me)” by Matt Maher.  It is an excellent reminder of the righteous humility to which we are all called each and every day.

What have you enjoyed most about your Echo experience thus far?
I have greatly enjoyed building so many Christ-centered relationships within my Echo and parish communities.  I can already see where the growth which I have experienced thus far has positively affected other areas of my life, especially my relationships with family back home and with friends outside of the Echo community. Even when I honestly felt lost and uncertain in the first few weeks at my new parish, all I had to do was look around to see the tremendous support that was all around me.

What kinds of things are you up to in your Echo parish?
I am definitely working in a true parish “apprenticeship” in the sense that I am being given the chance to try on a great number of different hats.  I am essentially shadowing my mentor Bev, the Director of Religious Education at St. Pius X, in most of the ministries that she runs, including being on the RCIA team, teaching as a 6th grade catechist, assisting with SPRED (Special Religious Education), and observing and giving input on other Adult Education initiatives.  I will also be taking more of a leadership role in developing a (hopefully) more active Young Adult ministry at St. Pius X, which is a challenge that I am very excited about.

What advice would you give to Echo applicants?
Be authentic.  I know this might be something that is given as advice again and again, but when applying to Echo it is more important than ever.  Don’t hold anything back on your application; be true to yourself in everything.  When you come to your interview, bring it all.  What you do not want to do is get caught up in trying to present what you think would be a good fit for Echo. You want Echo to be the right fit for you, the real you.  Above all else, trust in God, and He will lead you by the right road.