Dear Parishioners,

In September 2020, I began my role here at St. John Parish as the Administrative Assistant. I drove to work the first day nervous but excited to start the next chapter of my life. I knew the Lord planned to use this new job as an opportunity to stretch me, teach me, and help me grow. During my time here, I’ve met so many wonderful people, learned the ins and outs of parish life, and been challenged in unexpected ways. All these things have prepared me even more for whatever the Lord has planned for my life. A little over a year later, I STILL don’t have any idea what his will is for me, I just know that his plans for my future are good. Whatever it is, I will be working for his Church and in his Church, whether it be at a parish or a ministry. As of right now, it’ll be both!

Starting at the end of November, I’ll be working for Fully Alive Ministries. It’s a new ministry that sends missionaries to parishes around the country to transform the culture, form missionary disciples, and help cultivate growth so the parish and its parishioners can become “fully alive” in Christ. It’s been a hard discernment process, but I feel the Holy Spirit and his beloved spouse, the Virgin Mary, alongside me as I navigate this big life change. I honestly had no intention of accepting this position, and I especially was not planning to leave the state! Plus, the idea of having to fundraise my salary makes me nervous as well, so I wasn’t originally planning to accept the position. But I immersed this whole discernment and decision in prayer from the beginning and I trust the Holy Spirit as he guides me.

In the middle of all of this, I happened across an episode of the Pints With Aquinas podcast called “How to Discern God’s Will (and Your Vocation) w/ Fr. Vincent Yeager”. He described discernment as taking a step out on the water and waiting for a stone to appear beneath your foot. So, I’m stepping out in faith and trusting that I can walk on the water as long as I keep my eyes on Jesus.

Please pray for me as I continue on to the next chapter of my life. And thank you to everyone, especially Fr. Chas, Shayne, Lola, and the St. John Parish Staff, for everything you’ve done for me over the past year. I’ll continue to keep St. John Parish in my prayers!

God bless you all,

Ava Marcarelli

Administrative Assistant