The greatest joy of my ministry as a middle-school religion teacher is seeing the faces of my students. Sixty-eight of them pass through my classroom each school day, every one of them a reminder that my work is primarily for another. Despite the multitudinous challenges they present, my students have taught me the truth about service. The joy which comes from working first and foremost for the good of someone other than myself has astounded me, concretizing for me the truth that ministry is life-giving because it is, and only insofar as we receive it as, a face-to-face encounter with Christ.
Editorial Note: Throughout September, we'll be featuring profiles of people who are or have been part of the Echo program in the McGrath Institute for Church Life. Echo provides students the opportunity to earn a Master's degree from Notre Dame while gaining real-world experience in parish ministry or teaching high school theology, all while receiving robust spiritual and human formation.