UNIVERSITY of NOTRE DAME

INSTITUTE FOR CHURCH LIFE

Echo 13 Salt Lake City

 

Catherine Coffey

Echo Class:
Echo 13 Parish Apprentice

Parish & Diocesan Placement:
Cathedral of the Madeleine
Diocese of Salt Lake City

Hometown:
Clifton Park, NY

Undergraduate Institution & Area(s) of Study:
Boston College, 2016
Theology

What have you enjoyed most about your Echo experience thus far?
The community. Already they have held me through my first camping experience (which was a smashing success), let me cry after a really long day at work, and challenged me to grow in my faith. I am really grateful for them, and the larger Echo community in Salt Lake.

What kinds of things are you up to in your Echo parish?
I am currently starting a Youth Group for all high school students living in Salt Lake City with Michelle Aherns, the Echo Apprentice working at St. Catherine of Sienna Parish. I am also going to work with the Women’s League and the Pastoral Council on their vision of greater community and involvement in the Parish.

What is the most significant thing you’ve learned in Echo?
That God is truly at work all of the time, whether it is obvious or not. There are days that feel frustrating and exhausting, and there are days that are life-giving and incredible, and Grace is at work through all of those and everything in between.

What advice would you give to Echo applicants?
Don’t be afraid to ask for what you need – from God, from the people that support you, and from Echo. The more information you have and questions you have asked, the more fully formed your decision will be which will hopefully bring peace through the difficult moments.

Kathryn Windels

Echo Class:
Echo 13 Parish Apprentice

Parish & Diocesan Placement:
St. Joseph Catholic Church
Diocese of Salt Lake City

Hometown:
Queens, NY

Undergraduate Institution & Area(s) of Study:
Georgetown University, 2016
Theology, English

What are your favorite hobbies and activities outside of your ministry work?
I really love running, swimming and hiking and I spend most of my indoor time reading and working on my fiction writing. My other hobbies include Ukrainian embroidery, eating kale (followed by ice cream), and working to dismantle patriarchal systems.

What have you enjoyed most about your Echo experience thus far?
I have really enjoyed the companionship of community. Moving across the country with three complete strangers is a terrifying prospect, but being in Utah (surrounded by mountains and some of the best National Parks in the country) with our community and the Echo12/13 Theology Teachers has transformed solidarity into friendship and, more significantly, companionship.

What kinds of things are you up to in your Echo parish?
So far, I am working with Youth Group, RCIA, Bible Study, First Communion and Confirmation Classes, Social Justice Ministry, and a few other programs. I am also working with a few parishioners to establish a Young Adult Group in Ogden. My parish is very large (especially for a mission diocese) with a very involved congregation–I love working there and have really appreciated their welcoming nature and familial attitude.

What advice would you give to Echo applicants?
It is a mistake to think of Echo (or service to the Church at large) in terms of stereotypes. Each of us has a unique relationship with God and a different experience in the Church. If you think that you might not be perfectly compatible for the program, that should give you even more reason to apply. Echo intentionally challenges you, not to transform yourself into a different kind of person, but to become a better version of yourself. This process of growth can be very painful at times, but the Church needs diversity in every capacity and Echo is a very welcoming and loving place in which to grow.

Angela Hall

Echo Class:
Echo 13 Parish Apprentice

Parish & Diocesan Placement:
St. Catherine of Siena Newman Center
Diocese of Salt Lake City

Hometown:
Akron, OH

Undergraduate Institution & Area(s) of Study:
Bowling Green State University, 2013
Marketing
Entrepreneurship (minor)

What attracted you to Echo and helped you decide to join the program?
I was attracted to Echo because it integrates community life with academics in theology and experience in ministry. I had previous experience living in an intentional faith community, so I saw Echo as a way of continuing to grow in my faith with others. I was also drawn towards working in a parish while studying theology because I would be able to apply what I learned while directly serving in ministry. Echo is also unique because the program provided me a mentor who would guide me in my placement and help me succeed at my parish.

What is the most significant thing you’ve learned in Echo?
The most significant thing I have learned in Echo is the importance of living a balanced life. It is so easy to get sucked into ministry or community life without taking the right amount of time for prayer or self care. When I devote the proper amount of time to prayer, ministry, community, myself, family, and friends, then I am healthy emotionally, spiritually, and physically. I am still trying to find balance in my life, and I am glad my mentor and community are helping me find it.

What do you hope to do after Echo?
I would like to continue working in campus ministry. I grew so much in my faith at the Newman Center while in college. I want to help other college students come to know Christ more deeply and empower them to boldly live their faith. A lot of students leave their faith while in college, so I want to help young people realize why being Catholic matters and how Catholicism is still relevant today.

What advice would you give to Echo applicants?
I would tell them to be authentic in their application and in the interview. Echo accepts all different types of people, so be yourself. It’s easy to give in to the temptation to compare yourself to others, so don’t worry if you don’t have the same background as other people. Echo students have a variety of majors, and some have just graduated college while others (like myself) have been out of school for a couple of years.

Michelle Ahrens

Echo Class:
Echo 13 Parish Apprentice

Parish & Diocesan Placement:
St. Catherine of Siena
Diocese of Salt Lake City

Hometown:
Erie, PA

Undergraduate Institution & Area(s) of Study:
Mercyhurst University, 2016
Social Work, Religious Studies

What are your favorite hobbies and activities outside of your ministry work?
I love knitting and hiking (especially in these gorgeous Utah mountains!)

What attracted you to Echo and helped you decide to join the program?
It was honestly a bit of a coincidence that I even heard about the program and kind of fell into it. I went into the interview weekend not really knowing what I was getting myself into, and uncertain if the program was something that I wanted to do. But I remember so vividly sitting at dinner the second night that we were there, and realizing how much I loved all the people I was surrounded by, and wanted to be a part of that.

What have you enjoyed most about your Echo experience thus far?
Honestly, I absolutely loved the summer class work. It was the first opportunity I’ve had to take theology classes, and I just wanted to keep learning!

What kinds of things are you up to in your Echo parish?
I am currently helping to coordinate the religious education program at my parish, and also working with Catherine (an apprentice at the Cathedral) to start up a multi-parish high school youth group in collaboration with a few other downtown Salt Lake City parishes.