Jim Cullen, who completed JustFaith in 2004, shares his story.
When I think back to that first year of the program at St Camillus, I remember hesitating on going through with it. Meeting once a week from September to May, read all those books, retreats etc.? Could not we get the message quicker than that? Once we began the program though, I began to realize we had to take the steps as we did, because there was a lot to learn and meditate on. It was during the middle of that year, when we went to the gathering in Columbia Heights and joined the protest against the landlords who were not providing even essential services to their tenants, that it dawned on me that if we were ever to change the structures that keep the marginal and poor trapped as they are, we must work in groups. That day we filled the auditorium, getting the politicians in attendance to take notice.
Since that year, I have worked with groups from my parish building homes in Honduras, Guatemala, El Salvador and the Dominican Republic. With a smaller group from my parish, I went to the Mexican- border city of Nogales to repair a school there. Would I have done any of this without having done Just Faith? I cannot say. But I do know that because of the JustFaith experience, I saw these trips as opportunities to act as Christ told us to act.