UNIVERSITY of NOTRE DAME

INSTITUTE FOR CHURCH LIFE

Echo 13 Lafayette-in-Indiana

 

Crystal Serrano-Puebla

Echo Class:
Echo 13 Parish Apprentice

Diocesan Placement:
Office of Hispanic Ministry and Family
Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana

Hometown:
Chicago, IL

Undergraduate Institution & Area(s) of Study:
Lewis University , 2016
Psychology
Theology, Human Resource Management (minors)

What are your favorite hobbies and activities outside of your ministry work?
I love reading and going to concerts on my free time. There is no greater freedom than enjoying a good book or listening to a great indie band live!

What is the most significant thing you’ve learned in Echo?
I think just to keep an open mind and believe in my abilities. I think that all the support that Echo has given me so far has helped me to realize my gifts and that I am where I am for a reason.

What do you hope to do after Echo?
I am currently discerning that right now and praying a lot about it. I think I have a vague idea of maybe continuing in a diocesan office, becoming a university minister, or going on to get my master’s degree in pastoral counseling. I am open to wherever the Holy Spirit will lead me.

What advice would you give to Echo applicants?
Pray a lot. Just like any decision that you make in your life, it should be made in conjunction with God. Be open to what God is calling you to. I think that will go a long way and help you to be your most authentic self because at the end of the day that is what Echo wants to see. I think also  just be confident because if you are applying to Echo you probably are really cool, so own it and good luck!

Sarah Jesse

Echo Class:
Echo 13 Parish Apprentice

Parish & Diocesan Placement:
Church of the Blessed Sacrament
Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana

Hometown:
Cleveland, OH

Undergraduate Institution & Area(s) of Study:
University of Notre Dame, 2016
Theology, Psychology

 

What is your favorite quote, song, or image?

"Forgiven" by Thomas Blackshear II

What attracted you to Echo and helped you decide to join the program?
I was initially attracted to Echo in my sophomore year when, at an information session, I got to hear the stories of a few current participants, who loved what they were doing at their parishes and schools, but who also were on the road to receiving their Master’s in theology. Torn between service, ministry, and an academic program, Echo provided the solution. As I continued through undergrad, I talked to more and more participants and staff members, as well as others outside of the program who helped me discern my next step after graduation, and no doubt the Holy Spirit is the reason I am here today!

What is the most significant thing you’ve learned in Echo?
Echo is a graduate program that offers so much more than academics—while we are being formed intellectually, we are also being formed professionally, communally, humanly, and spiritually, so that our whole person is cared for and we are intentionally moving toward growth in all areas. Until beginning to experience it for myself, I did not fully comprehend the true importance of the focus on our own whole person as we work to minister to others—if our own cup is full, we are better able to give love and attention to our work. Professor Fagerberg explained that a “solitary Christian” is an impossible thing, and how the Echo Program is set up is a living reminder of that truth.

What advice would you give to Echo applicants?
My advice to Echo applicants would actually come from what my professors told me when I was on the fence about applying—just do it! If you have truly felt a pull toward ministry in the Church, or loving others in a special way, or studying Theology, then it cannot hurt to apply. The application itself and the interview itself are almost like discernment tools too, so that by the end, you may have a better sense of whether or not this is what you are being called to commit yourself to for the next two years. Echo will also be better, and thus the Church in the world will be better, if people from all different backgrounds and ways of “being Catholic” apply. Don’t worry—there is no Catholic “mold” to fit; all are welcome to apply!

Andrea Waclawek

Echo Class:
Echo 13 Parish Apprentice

Parish & Diocesan Placement:
St. Thomas Aquinas- The Catholic Center at Purdue
Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana

Hometown:
Sanborn, NY

Undergraduate Institution & Area(s) of Study:
Denison University, 2015
Religion
Psychology, Educational Studies (minors)

What are your favorite hobbies and activities outside of your ministry work?
I love being active- playing sports, running, biking, and hiking. I also enjoy reading and am frequently found making phone calls to friends and family from home. I love any time that I am able to spend with children, and I will always be found on the dance floor if one is available.

What is your favorite quote, song, or image?
“We cannot love God unless we love each other, and to love we must know each other. We know Him in the breaking of bread, and we know each other in the breaking of bread, and we are not alone anymore. Heaven is a banquet and life is a banquet, too, even with a crust, where there is companionship.”
-Dorothy Day

What attracted you to Echo and helped you decide to join the program?
I knew that I wanted a Master’s degree to better serve the Church, but I wasn’t excited about spending all year in a classroom with limited opportunity to knit real-world experiences with academia. So, Echo fit my desire to continue my education while being immersed in practical, hands-on ministry. It is truly a blessing!

What kinds of things are you up to in your Echo parish?
I am working at a parish that serves Purdue’s campus, and so one of my main avenues of work is outreach to international students on campus. Almost one-quarter of Purdue’s undergraduate population is comprised of international students, and the numbers only climb for graduate students! So, I am loving getting to know students of all different cultural backgrounds and experiences of faith! I am also assisting in general campus ministry work, as well as looking to be involved with our RCIA classes.