So I’ve been away from the blog doing a lot of other work the past few days. And at the same time, I’ve continued deciding on what to give away and I decided to highlight two students that I really admire and a woman who has been so helpful to me in the parish:
Day 31: Katie Nicole Revai was a student that I met on our Alternative Break Trip to New York several years ago now. To be honest, Katie and I don’t have a huge relationship, we just haven’t crossed paths as much as I would have liked. But the interesting thing is that when we have crossed paths it’s always been surrounding service. I went to Vive one day which is the largest refugee shelter in the country based right here in Buffalo. And I was taking a group of students there and who was already there—you guessed it Katie. Playing with refugee children and helping in any way that she could. She didn’t need anyone to go with her she just took it upon herself to make a dedication to do service to Vive and each Saturday she’d make her way over there without being prodded or even asked. I was quite impressed.
I ran into Katie in her dorm the other night when we hosted a social event in the lounge and we caught up. She talked to me about her recent trip to Puerto Rico and then I told her that my second book should be out in the fall. Her reply: “I haven’t even read the first one! I’ll have to buy two book now!” I blushed and offered her a free copy of Googling God. So she gets a giveaway just for being someone that I can admire.
Day 32: My friend Jen Reis has been so supportive of the things I am involved in here at the University Parish. She’s made meals, and hors ‘derves and chocolate covered pretzels and red velvet cupcakes. Martha Stewart’s got nothing on her. We recently found out that her husband Matt and her are going to have a baby. So I’m giving her a delightful book called 4AM Madonnas: A spiritual guide for Christian Mothers. Blessings on the new kid!
Day 33: Vineet Aguiar is one of the many international students that I’ve enjoyed meeting. He’s from India and he’s hysterically funny and dedicated to his studies and his faith. I was really glad to get to know him better on our alternative break trip to Kentucky. We give people crosses to wear on the trip and by the end of the week we ask them to give them away to someone else; someone they’ve seen Christ in that week. For example, in Cleveland I gave my cross away to the head of the Cleveland Food Bank after hearing how supportive he has been of his volunteers and donors, always showing much appreciation for them. This year in Kentucky, Vineet decided that he was going to give his cross to me. I wear it every day and I had been looking for something simple to wear as an outward sign of my ministry and it fits perfectly. His gift was totally unexpected and it came at a time when I wasn’t feeling so good about my ministry and renewed my own faith in myself.
Vineet has a deep and introspective faith and I admire that much. He reminds me much of St. Paul in that he has a welcoming spirit to all that he sees meets and is always willing to invite others to things that we do at St. Joe’s. So I’d like to give him a book that’s special to me called “The Life of St Paul.” It’s written by Fr. Lawrence Boadt, now deceased, but what a guy he was! He published my first book, Googling God, and I’m forever in his debt for taking on the project after hearing about it from Fr. Michael Hunt and getting Fr. Mike Kerrigan to help me with finalizing the manuscript for publication. It’s a nice coffee table kind of book with beautiful illustrations and Vineet always illustrates beauty to others by the way he lives his life. So the book, a reflection of him, is now his. Enjoy.