UNIVERSITY of NOTRE DAME

INSTITUTE FOR CHURCH LIFE

Echo 12 & 13 Salt Lake City

Caleb Childers

Echo Class:
Echo 13 Theology Teacher

School & Diocesan Placement:
Juan Diego Catholic High School
Diocese of Salt Lake City

Hometown:
Winfield, WV

Undergraduate Institution & Area(s) of Study:
Xavier University, 2013
History
Political Science (minor)

What are your favorite hobbies and activities outside of your ministry work?
I love to run! It keeps me sane during the school year and allows me to enjoy the mountains here. This year I would love to ski more and take advantage of everything that Utah has to offer.

What have you enjoyed most about your Echo experience thus far?
I really enjoyed the classes that I took over the summer. They were hard and pretty intense, but I feel that we all learned so much from them and the knowledge that I have gained from my professors and peers has directly influenced my teaching.

What kinds of things are you up to in your Echo school?
I teach four classes of juniors and two classes of sophomores. My juniors are learning about the sacraments and trying their best to spell “efficacious.” My sophomores are studying the Paschal Mystery from Genesis all the way to the Gospels.

What advice would you give to Echo applicants?
Seriously consider it! As someone who taught before Echo, I’ve found that my Echo experiences have absolutely made me a better teacher. I would absolutely recommend the program to any current young teacher who is looking to study theology and to share the beauty of the Church. Choosing Echo was one of the best decisions I made, and I would love to see more people consider it.

Paul Kuczynski

Echo Class:
Echo 12 Theology Teacher

School & Diocesan Placement:
Judge Memorial Catholic High School
Diocese of Salt Lake City

Hometown:
Bay City, Michigan

Undergraduate Institution & Area(s) of Study:
University of Notre Dame, 2015
English
Philosophy (minor)

What are your favorite hobbies and activities outside of your ministry work?
When I’m not prepping lessons, I love sitting with a mug of tea and reading for fun. Sometimes, when I’m really inspired, I take out my yoga mat or even go for a short run.  I’ve also taken to exploring the city or going hiking in the mountains with my community members.

What is your favorite quote, song, or image?
One of my favorite quotes comes from the book The Little Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery: “It is only with the heart that one can see rightly. What is essential is invisible to the eye.” It’s currently my phone background!

What kinds of things are you up to in your Echo school?
Currently, I’m teaching 4 sections of sophomores and 2 sections of seniors. With my sophomores, we’re studying the Paschal Mystery, from its roots in Genesis to the Gospels, and with my seniors, we’re learning about social justice and how to apply Catholic social teaching to real injustices happening locally and around the world.

What is the most significant thing you’ve learned in Echo?
Besides a whole lot of fancy theological vocabulary, I think the biggest thing the Echo experience has taught me is how to be open – in every sense of the word. Moving across the country to live in an intentional community and begin a challenging career has a unique way of forming you, but I’ve learned that you have to be open to that formation. Whenever there is an unexpected challenge or bump in the road (and there have been a few!), learning how to remain open to growth has been a beautiful, if sometimes painful, lesson of vulnerability and patience for me.

Michele Gelaude

Echo Class:
Echo 12 Theology Teacher

School & Diocesan Placement:
Judge Memorial Catholic High School
Diocese of Salt Lake City

Hometown:
DeWitt, Iowa

Undergraduate Institution & Area(s) of Study:
Loras College, 2010
Integrated Visual Arts and Public Relations

What attracted you to Echo and helped you decide to join the program?
Before Echo, I worked in high school campus ministry for five years. I initially was searching for a quality Masters of Theology program. Echo attracted me with its Masters degree, teaching experience, and community living.

What have you enjoyed most about your Echo experience thus far?
I am greatly appreciative of the ND theology courses in the summer. As I teach, I am even more grateful for my quality professors and education. Now in Salt Lake City, I most enjoy my community. They are a blessing every day.

What kinds of things are you up to in your Echo school?
I teach four sections of freshman theology, based on Scripture and Christ. I also teach and facilitate peer ministry at my high school. Through the course, I am forming senior ministers for our school, inspired by the approach of Coworkers in the Vineyard. As a service to the school our peer ministers lead roles in Mass and plan and lead grade-level retreats.

What advice would you give to Echo applicants?
As a non-traditional Echo member, I encourage a variety of people to consider Echo. Though I worked in ministry for several years, Notre Dame and Echo have taught me so much. If you are several years out of school and hope to work for the Church, Echo is a great and formative program.

Noah Banks

Echo Class:
Echo 13 Theology Teacher

School & Diocesan Placement:
St. Joseph Catholic High School
Diocese of Salt Lake City

Hometown:
Portland, OR

Undergraduate Institution & Area(s) of Study:
University of Portland, 2016
Theology
Philosophy, Spanish (minors)

What are your favorite hobbies and activities outside of your ministry work?
I greatly enjoy reading, especially books about Theology. I love ethics and moral theology, so I am often reading about that. I have also enjoyed reading about artificial intelligence recently. Additionally, I love to bake bread, and I try to do so once a week.

What is your favorite quote, song, or image?
“Make me a channel of your peace.”
-St. Francis of Assisi

What have you enjoyed most about your Echo experience thus far?
I love living in an intentional faith community with other teachers. Nothing is quite as fun or rich as sitting around the dinner table and sharing stories, funny moments, tips, and lessons that worked (or didn’t). It’s also a great place to grow as a person (chore charts help here, too) and to grow spiritually. Having time for prayer as a community is a real blessing, one that I have come to treasure.

What is the most significant thing you’ve learned in Echo?
So far, flexibility is the best lesson I have learned. Things change, and it is so much easier to take them as they come than to fight or resist the change. Especially in the classroom, a lesson is bound to go sideways once in a while. Finding ways to make this work for you is a skill that I have begun to develop and one that I will continue to work on throughout my time in Echo.