I cannot believe it has been a full year since I started with Saint John. Originally, Father John asked me to come work for our parish as the new Director of Family Mission, along with assisting with technology and communications. By creating a consolidated and collaborative environment for our Parish Family, including our “young” adults (ages 19-121), families (no matter what they look like), and youth group, we have invigorated Saint John as “the” active parish in Naples focused on our mission: To Know, To Love, and To Serve God. From the Immokalee Mission Team to Trunk or Treat to the upcoming Senior Prom, new and renewed events, programs and activities showcase the growth and engagement of our community. I am so excited to share these efforts with you. 2015 is going to be amazing here at Saint John!
It has been an interesting road for me to get to this point, for sure. The last thing I ever thought while attending Georgetown University on an Air Force ROTC scholarship was that I would be working for the Catholic Church. After washing out of flight school due to my eyesight, I found that I had an aptitude for technology. What followed was a twenty-year career in Washington, DC, supporting an alphabet soup of federal, state, and local government organizations. From assisting with cancer research at the NIH to combating child abuse with the FBI to setting up emergency communication systems for the US Senate to performing public outreach with FEMA. I must have been in every building in the city at one point or another. More importantly, I was able to woo and marry my high school sweetheart and we have 4 amazing children. However, as you would expect, an 80-hour work week, with the White House and the Pentagon calling, was not conducive to an engaged home life. Four years ago, we made the decision to move down to Naples (we have family who have been here for over 15 years) and renew our life together. It is the best decision we have ever made. Most importantly, the first Mass we went to when we moved down here was with Father John. His “All You Need is Love” homily hit home and awoke the Holy Spirit in my soul.
I feel so blessed to have this opportunity to work with all of you to achieve our Parish Mission, for our Parish Family. Together, not only “We Are Saint John”, but we have impacted so many needy individuals in the area and around the world. The impact we have together is so much more powerful than separately, and it has already shown itself as we turn our faith into action and service. Please join us in 2015 for some further exciting opportunities, like our Life Center, the World Meeting of Families (with Mass with Pope Francis), and dozens of activities geared for all parts of our Parish Family.
Thank you all for your generous support and encouragement you have given me over the past year and please let me know if there is anything I can do for you. My email mailbox, phone, and door are always open.