Mary Rein, who completed the JustFaith program in 2007, shares her story.
In JustFaith I found so much sustenance that it is difficult to know where to begin.
JustFaith gave me community. The strength of our small group; the prayerful respectful, conversations; the honesty and openness; offered me an unforgettable model to carry with me of what Church can be like “on the ground.” I made loving and sustaining friendships in the context of a community of faith. JustFaith also gave me a community of pilgrims, saints, heroines, and heroes, from both the past and the present, as guides. It gave me a compassionate context for reading Scripture, and, as a result, my relationship with Jesus has deepened.
All this offered me hope grounded in faith, and increased my courage. I am better able to look directly at painful truths in the world without turning away in fear or despair. JustFaith taught me that if I say inwardly, “There is no way I can make a difference here,” I am letting my wish to be the heroine of the story take over and keep me rooted to the spot. I learned that my presence and my witness, as well as my action, are morally and spiritually essential, no matter what the outcome.
In practical terms, increased courage has led me to make several trips to Central America to build houses with Habitat for Humanity and Saint Francis Builds with my parish community; it has given me confidence and willingness to “speak truth to power” by contacting my legislators; and most recently, it has propelled me to the steps of the Capitol to fast in solidarity with the core group of Fast for Families, praying and fasting in witness to the importance of finally legislating real immigration reform in this country. I am very grateful.