An Open Letter to my Home Parish Community

Updated: Aug 20, 2021

Dear friends and colleagues at Holy Name of Jesus,



I’ll get straight to the point. With bitter sweetness, I have decided to move on from the Holy Name of Jesus (HNOJ) community both as a staff member and parishioner. This move has been on my heart for a few months now and I think it’s about time I act on it. I’ve been reluctant to do this because it’s difficult leaving home. You know how persistent the Holy Spirit can be though. He asks you to do difficult things sometimes. But one thing’s for certain: If He’s telling you to do a thing, you better do it.


HNOJ will always be the Catholic parish I grew up in and discovered the Catholic faith. I began hanging out at HNOJ when I was a senior in high school where I received community and formation I was hungering for. HNOJ facilitated experiences that planted the seeds of the desire for Catholicism in me, whether it was Adoration at Big Sandy Camp, conversations with a staff member (you know who you are!), feeling the Holy Spirit during Mass, or meeting a new friend. HNOJ was the perfect entry point to Catholicism for me. I went to college where I learned more about the faith and decided I wanted to get confirmed. HNOJ was the place I wanted to receive the sacrament, so I did.


HNOJ is where I learned core things about life as an engaged parishioner. The good, bad, ugly, and beautiful. I’ve attended many events, volunteered countless hours, and played oboe at many Masses. I ran the young adult community for a year and a half on my own before deciding it was taking more than it was giving to me. I loved being that contact person for a demographic at a church but in the end it was becoming too much for me to run by myself. That’s when I learned that that’s what working ministry is sometimes.


I began my graphic design career at HNOJ with an internship right after college graduation. Everyone has a unique fondness for the first job they had in their chosen career and I consider HNOJ to be that for me. I’ve been blessed with the privilege of working at HNOJ as Communications Assistant for a cumulative 2 years in the past 3. I’ve had a blast taking countless photos, running our social media accounts, designing various publications, and making fun videos here and there. My skills as a professional have grown tremendously.


My time working at HNOJ also helped me lay the foundation for my dream career to which I am moving on to: to help businesses and organizations who hold Catholic values achieve engaging, beautiful digital art. AKA, I'm becoming a Catholic graphic designer. I will be pursuing full-time freelancing doing just that. How cool is that!?


As for why I’m leaving HNOJ as a parishioner, I live closer to other parishes that I’ve already gotten involved in. I’ll sheepishly admit I’m already on leadership for a young adult group not based at HNOJ. I guess you could say I’m simply providing where there is demand. I just want to be clear: I did not have a negative experience that is driving me away from HNOJ! This is just where I feel called to go with my life.


I am forever grateful for all the formation I’ve received as a professional, a Catholic, and human. If you’re a member there, I hope you thank God today for the HNOJ community. We’ve got a wonderful staff and community. Not everyone is as blessed as we are. I will certainly be back for a Mass or event every now and then!



Blessings and good luck!

Emily






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