Beth Franzosa

Religion Teacher and Director of Adult Formation • Cristo Rey Jesuit High School

Echo 2 • St. Thomas the Apostle • Diocese of Peoria

What drew you to Echo and what helped you decide to do the program?
I had been feeling a call to ministry for a long time, but I didn’t know how to go about getting a job in ministry until I heard about Echo. I had some friends in Echo 1, and my admiration for them, their great faith, and what I saw of their Echo experiences helped me know that Echo was the program for me.
In retrospect, what role has Echo played in your journey thus far?
Echo taught me about living in community, sharing my faith, being a professional in a work community, making friends with people of all ages and in all situations, integrating my faith with my life and work – how can I put this? It taught me to depend on God, and what I learned in Echo helps me serve God today.
What was your favorite part of your Echo experience? the most challenging part?
Living and working in community – my Echo community and my parish community both, for both questions. I’m a social person, and I loved every day hanging out with my community and with my co-workers and the parishioners at my parish. I got so much support from them. But, living and working so closely with people is always a challenge, especially in that it helped me to see my own faults and learn from others.
Reflect on the importance of spiritual and human formation in your Echo experience.
My favorite part of the program, and one thing that really attracted me to Echo, is how much the program really cared about our formation. Moving, having a job, living in community – all these things were big changes for me, and it was so important for me to take time for prayer and retreats and to share my faith and my struggles with my community.
How did Echo prepare you for your current job/ministry?
Teaching religion is such a mix of communicating theology and forming the students in their faith, and that’s what I would practice every day in Echo. My Echo placement was a great first job out of college, since I had so much support while I was learning, and so I think I learned so many valuable professional skills that I use in my job now.
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