UNIVERSITY of NOTRE DAME

INSTITUTE FOR CHURCH LIFE

Echo 13 Galveston-Houston

Elizabeth Clarke

Echo Class:
Echo 13 Parish Apprentice

Parish & Diocesan Placement:
Mary Queen Catholic Church
Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston

Hometown:
Cleveland Heights, OH

Undergraduate Institution & Area(s) of Study:
University of Dayton, 2016
Religious Studies
Non-Profit and Community Leadership (graduate certificate)

What is your favorite quote, song, or image?
“I hope that you come to find that which gives life a deep meaning for you. Something worth living for – maybe even worth dying for, something that energizes you, enthuses you, enables you to keep moving ahead.”
~Sister Ita Ford, M.M.

What attracted you to Echo and helped you decide to join the program?
I was attracted to Echo through its mission: “Forming Leaders. Serving the Church.” The combination of academics and catechetical leadership is what initially drew me in. I was also attracted to the integrative formation that Echo apprentices and theology teachers receive and the opportunity to grow in human, spiritual and communal formation.

What is the most significant thing you’ve learned in Echo?
Lean into the discomfort. You go through a lot of transitions and new experiences in Echo, if you allow yourself to be open to how the Spirit is moving within you, wonderful things will happen. But you cannot go through this without prayer. Prayer will guide you through the discomfort.

What do you hope to do after Echo?
After Echo I hope to work and minister in higher education.

Austin Schneider

Echo Class:
Echo 13 Parish Apprentice

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

Hometown:
Grand Rapids, MI

Undergraduate Institution & Area(s) of Study:
Michigan State University, 2015
Psychology
Sociology (minor)

What are your favorite hobbies and activities outside of your ministry work?
I love to play electric guitar, compose songs, and listen to music. I also enjoy writing, reading, thinking, and napping, of course.

What is your favorite quote, song, or image?
My favorite song is Antonin Dvorak’s cantata, “Stabat Mater.” “The Stabat Mater” is a famous Latin hymn about Mary standing with Christ at the Cross. In the course of one year, Dvorak lost all three of his children and during that period composed music to go along with the hymn. His cantata is poignantly emotional and prayerful, deeply moving, and provides a wonderful contemplative window by which one can enter into the united suffering of Jesus and Mary. I get chills every time I listen to it.

What do you hope to do after Echo?
Other than getting married, I want to be a theological writer and also write sacred music. Along with that, I am discerning whether God is calling me to work in a parish after Echo, pursue further studies in theology, or serve in some sort of ministry outside of a parish (or all of the above!). In any case, I feel called to minister in some way.

What advice would you give to Echo applicants?
Be yourself! It’s easy to feel a lot of pressure when applying to grad programs, or to try to make yourself sound more impressive for the programs you are applying to. But the Echo community is truly interested in getting to know you and discerning with you whether God is calling you to this program. So be authentically you, and of course, pray!

Katarina Goitz

Echo Class:
Echo 13 Parish Apprentice

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

Hometown:
St. Clair Shores, MI

Undergraduate Institution & Area(s) of Study:
University of Notre Dame, 2016
Chinese
Business Economics (minor)

What is your favorite quote, song, or image?
“Yesterday has gone.  Tomorrow has not yet come.  We have only today.  Let us begin.”
-St. Mother Teresa

What attracted you to Echo and helped you decide to join the program?
As a mentor-in-faith in the Notre Dame Vision program, I loved working with young people as they grew in faith, and I wished it was possible to do something like that every day–not just one summer.  Echo showed me that this was possible through working in the Church.  I was excited by the opportunity to not only gain experience doing real work in a parish but also learn from some of the best theology teachers in the country.  I was also looking forward to the opportunity for personal growth through living in community and having so many incredible mentors.

What do you hope to do after Echo?
I hope to discern what I want to do in the future through my time in Echo, but I am considering working in a parish, working in campus ministry at a university, or doing some type of non-profit work after Echo.

What advice would you give to Echo applicants?
Be open on the application and strive to show your truest self.  Also, let the Echo staff help you in your discernment.  It is very helpful to call or meet with them to learn more about the program or get a feel for if it is the right fit.

Deirdre O'Leary

Echo Class:
Echo 13 Parish Apprentice

Parish & Diocesan Placement:
Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church
Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston

Hometown:
Philadelphia, PA

Undergraduate Institution & Area(s) of Study:
Saint Mary’s College, 2016
Religious Studies, International Development

What attracted you to Echo and helped you decide to join the program?
From my discernment about my career path in college, I knew that I wanted to spend my life working for God and the Church and working with people. I applied to six different graduate school programs and ended up choosing Echo because it is not just a program of study, but rather, it seamlessly and beautifully integrates the study of theology with praxis – an incredible opportunity to be a leader in ministry and learn how to live in intentional community. Echo was the most attractive program to me because it forms not only the mind, but the heart and soul as well.

What have you enjoyed most about your Echo experience thus far?
During Echo summer session, I would ask the Echo 12′s this question, and a lot of them would say community. In my mind, I thought: that won’t be me! I presumed I would like living in a new place the best or working full time in a Church, or not having a ton of homework every night like college. Honestly, I am so humbled and happy to be proven wrong. Community life really is the best, and my heart is so full. Community life takes work and it is a big commitment, but it is so worth it to be able to come home and thoroughly love spending time with the same people every night, asking how one another’s days were, and sharing the joys as well as the sorrow. I love praying together nearly every night, having community nights, and even our house meetings.

What kinds of things are you up to in your Echo parish?
This year, the first, exploratory year, I will be teaching a 1st grade CCE class, helping with 6th-9th grade RCIA, and teaching an 11th-12th grade post-Confirmation class. I will also be helping with middle and high school Youth Ministry.

What is the most significant thing you’ve learned in Echo?
The most significant thing I have learned in Echo thus far is the value of listening. I am an extrovert and a talker, but I have been surrounded by such incredible people in Echo, whether it is the staff, professors, or my peers in the program, that I want to hear their stories and thoughts. Listening more has been a challenging yet beautiful experience.