The senior class at Mater Ecclesiae College is an incredible testimony of perseverance and hope for all of us in the movement right now. Just five months after they knelt down and promised Jesus their entire lives within the Regnum Christi movement the news of the founder exploded into their innocent lives. If discerning a vocation in the bark of our church is already an emotionally, spiritually, and psychologically draining exercise – imagine trying to do it on a ship beset by storm!
The storm has been with them since day one and has not yet subsided. Despite the pleas, cries and tears of their formators to Jesus asleep on his cushion with “Lord, can you not see they are drowning?” he has not yet awoken to calm the winds and the waves. Each one of them knows he will one day arise, calm the fierce winds of confusion and the successive waves of pain, and will lead us to safe harbor. It is for this hope for which we commend them and for which they will one day receive a great reward! To be faithful when things are easy is one thing, but to be faithful against all odds is heroic.
Catherine Smith, a convert to the faith, is all the way from New Zealand and her joy and hard working spirit – especially as head of the kitchen - is a gift for the college.
Ale Curiel, Caro Tavares, and Andrea Moreno come from México where the movement first began, and they have suffered in a special way hearing of the difficulties there without really being able to help in a physical way. God alone knows the silent prayers each one has offered for her country and our movement there.
Nicole Stone comes from Minnesota and is always full of initiative (from organizing 5 mile runs to the latest insanity workout for sports to baking cookies). Nicole accompanied a local parish group to WYD in Madrid and also helps young adults in Bryant University here in Rhode Island.
Mary DeGoede is from Seattle and is the class blogger and analyst. All want to be remembered by her so when she’s famous one day they can claim to have known her.
Becca Olek, from upstate New York, is a hard core basket ball player and runner. She is also famous for her fearless climbing of the tallest ladder in the house to change the light bulbs high up in our chapel. Becca also had a life changing experience on a mission trip to Haiti this past January.
Therese Maher who was born with missionary zeal pulsating through her veins joined Holy Week missions in México; a dream she had been dying to fulfill! She also has a consecrated sister, Mary, who works in Chicago.
Elisa Funari is our only Brazilian in the college and her warmth, smile, and experience bring a fresh perspective to the class.
Stephanie Pangtay comes from the sunny south of Dallas and thanks to her our computers run and if ever there is ever a favor to be had you hope Steph is around to help you.
Megan McCleneghen and Laura Kuhlman were consecrated two months after the rest of the class but were part of the family from the start. Laura is the college “event queen” and has helped organize so many of the activities here in the house. Laura is also a great promoter of events outside of the college and because of this many now attend Theology on tap seminars, go to praise and worship sessions, or drive to the National Shrine of Divine Mercy for a day of retreat. Thanks to Megan our choir has continued strong and once again was invited to sing at the national shrine for Divine Mercy Sunday. We all hope to see Megan serving the church in what she loves one day– the areas of ecumenism and dialogue in the world of politics.
So despite the challenge of being in formation these past four, turbulent years, each of these talented young women has been forged by God like gold in the fire. Just as a goldsmith knows the gold is purified as soon as he can see his reflection in the gold, so has Our Lord held each one of the Mater Ecclesiae seniors in the heat of his purifying love and now his image is beginning to show! Truly they have fought the good fight; they have almost finished the race; they have kept the faith!