Story Time – Graduation and Missionary Years Atlanta and Washington DC

Story time with Amy.

As I sit here, waiting and waiting for baby to come, with not much happening to write about in our day to day life…  and from recent comments, I am remembering all these stories I meant to write down but never have. So why not just dive right in!!

I was home schooled from grades 1-12

CIMG0049This was my “graduating class” in 2005,  basically some friends from our area who finished homeschooling the same year. We planned a dinner and dance for ourselves and our families and friends. I’m in the celery dress. My good friend Mary who was my maid of honor is in the black dress and white bolero.

Very early  the morning after our graduation party my family left for a vacation in Mexico where some family friends had moved. Not a critical detail, but remember the drinking age is 18 here, and almost all of us we 18 when we graduated. So, not the most fun flight 😉


L-R my Mom, Thomas, Anne, Martin, Roseline, Emma, Meagan and my dad

But we had an awesome family vacation. My dad and sisters and I did a lot of scuba diving which was absolutely incredible. DSCF0493

This was what we looked like at the time. I love looking at old pictures of my siblings all so little and adorable! My older sister is missing, and I took that picture, there are 8 kids in total, two boys and 6 girls.


My sister Anne and I


Little Meagan. Who is now 17! Clara reminds me of her so much

And my little baby brothers. So adorable then (and now)

And my little baby brothers. So adorable then (and now)

Anyway after that trip, I made a hasty decision to leave home and volunteer for a year as a full time Missionary. My family had been involved in the Regnum Christi Movement, (associated with the Legionaries of Christ) and they offered a program that many of my friends were considering. I really waited til the last minute, but had no inclination to go to college or university right away, and so jumped on the bandwagon and left for training July 1 of that year.

There are so many incredible women in this picture! I wonder where we all are now

There are so many incredible women in this picture! I wonder where we all are now

I think the above picture is our whole group, from across the USA, Canada, Australia and New Zealand who trained together in Rhode Island for the summer in taking courses in prayer, scripture, apologetics, youth ministry, morality and Church teaching… Intense and awesome. And at the end of the summer we found out where we would be going to spend the rest of the year.

It was announced that I would be going to “Hot-Lanta!” and I honestly had no idea where that was, and even that it was referring to Atlanta. So I had a lot to learn. Missions & Team pics 057

This was the 4 of us who lived and worked together in Atlanta that year sitting in front of the Coca-Cola museum in down town Atlanta. L-R Catherine from New Zealand, myself (gosh I loved that hideous coat!) Jacinta from Michigan, and Megan who also was from my hometown. We were also working with a community of Consecrated women.


I worked organizing and supporting dozens of Challenge clubs for girls in the Atlanta area, planning and running retreats, offering training to the peer leaders that the clubs depend on, and working with Pure Fashion, which runs modest fashion shows.


Me kissing the place where “The Word Was Made Flesh Here” in Nazareth

As part of the year we had the opportunity to make a pilgrimage to Rome and the Holy Land. Such a powerful pilgrimage and I really pray that everyone has the opportunity to see the actual places where Christ lived and walked. It really opens your eyes to scripture and makes Our Lord so present and “real” in a way that can be hard to realize any other way.

After the first year, which I loved so much and a huge opportunity for spiritual growth, I decided to do a discernment program for the summer, to see if I perhaps had a calling to life long consecrated life, like so many of the women I was working with. IMG_7235

That was a pretty intense summer of prayer and learning about vocations within the Church and learning about myself and what God’s plan was for me. I ended certain that I did not have THAT calling in the Church, but had enjoyed my time serving in mission so much, I decided to stay on in the volunteer role for another year. Since I had waited pretty much til the last second to make my decision known, again, my spot in Atlanta had been filled by someone else, so I was moved to Washington DC.

DSCF0529 small

My team in DC that year. Allie from Louisiana, Jackie from Michigan, Marie-Eve from Quebec, and Paola from Monterray Mexico and myself in the front on the National Mall in DC.

I did similar roles in the DC area, but covered a LOT of ground. We had clubs across Northern Virginia, Maryland, Deleware, West Virginia, and the actual District. There were so many incredible opportunities in that year, I can’t even begin to describe it all.


Praying as we sit on the shores of the Sea of Galilee

Again the pilgrimage opportunity came around in the spring, and a total miracle I was able to go again. I am realizing now that I made a point of NOT taking any pictures of that whole trip (this was before I had ever had a cell phone of my own) and I wanted to be actually present and not seeing everything through a screen. Something I had been reminded of again after seeing Pope Francis surrounded by phones and cameras, does he miss eye contact when he looks into the crowd?


I loved year 2 so much, I stuck around for a third year (the maximum for the program – and not the usual…at all) this was my 3rd year team, (2nd in DC) L-R Ashley from Atlanta, Maria from Mexico DF, Dominique who was also from my hometown, and myself.


We did do a lot of serious work, just apparently didn’t take pictures of those kind of activities. 99% of the pictures I can find of us totally goofing off and being ridiculous on our days “off”. But there I am coordinating models at the Pure Fashion Show in DC.

That final spring had to be my last, so I was working hard to figure out what my next steps would be. I still wasn’t “Sold” on returning home and going to college or university immediately, and was open to other opportunities, but had no idea the kind of possibilities that would quickly fall into my lap.

Since that chapter of the story turns into Brian and I’s “how we met” story, it deserves a post of its own. So I will end here for now.

Thanks for following a long.



About Amy

Wife, mom, daughter, sister, aunt, Godmother, all those good things any many more. Crafter, extrovert, life-long-learner just for the fun of it, when my 4 little (and not so little) babies give me the chance for anything beyond keeping them fed and clean and our lives relatively calm and peaceful.
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13 Responses to Story Time – Graduation and Missionary Years Atlanta and Washington DC

  1. Ahh! That all sounds so amazing. I’m guessing the next part is when you end up in Miami? (I am from MD and went to law school at Miami, so I am extra interested in what you did there!)


  2. Hannah says:

    I had no idea you did all this! So so cool.


    • Amy says:

      How does the song put it: everybody’s got a story that could break your heart… except… hopefully no hearts were broken in the making of this story.


  3. This sounds awesome! Story with Amy, lol – I love it!


  4. Christina Yep says:

    I LOOOOVE all the reminiscing. It made me cry…maybe just a mood…but maybe not! Lots of love to you all.


    • Amy says:

      oh Christina! You are so sweet… Sometimes looking back and just remembering is so enjoyable and cathartic! If you ever write about your internship, I would love to read it!


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  6. Lauren says:

    I’m so glad you decided to share these stories!! As we were talking during those final days before Tessa, you mentioned several of these adventures. To be honest, I have (obviously) heard of missionary opportunities through other denominations but nothing as elaborate as this for Catholics. It sounds really wonderful and I’m glad you had the opportunity for the experience. (P.S. I may have to steal this idea – story time – in a few months, hehe.)


    • Amy says:

      Totally!! Do it.. it was great to have something else to think about than just “when will this baby come….” during those last few days.
      And yeah there are some neat opportunities for Catholic Missionary work, but it just takes a little digging I think to find them sometimes!


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