Gina Fleck
“To God be the glory,” Darryl Green exclaimed upon concluding his presentation. He spoke with a dazzling zeal and fervor for those of us attending the fundraising event at the Maryland Catholic Conference in Annapolis, MD (I was there as an intern for MCC). Darryl oversees Christopher Place Employment Academy right here in Baltimore. He explained that Christopher Place gives homeless men the opportunity to be in a 6-month minimum residential program; it aims at giving participants a future of stability, eventual employment, and permanent housing. I was moved, to say the least, when Darryl was talking about the graduation ceremony particularly! Some sage advice: when a grown man cries tears of joy, you cry with him!

Because I was so wowed by his sharing, I remember my supervisor Mariann urging me to go figure out how I could get a job with CP! I didn’t get to secure the coveted job with Darryl on the spot, but the memory of his passion stayed with me.

At the time of the event, as a second semester senior at Mount St. Mary’s University in Emmitsburg, MD, I was really trying to discern the next move after graduation. I had applied to other post-grad service opportunities, but did not know if any would work out. I was relatively uncertain about the kind of program I would join–I just knew for sure that I wanted to serve. A Catholic Charities employee in attendance shared her enthusiasm for her post-grad service year and she and her colleague directed me to our lovely Project SERVE coordinator, Allison!

After getting accepted to P’SERVE and interviewing with a few sites, Allison decided to place me at Our Daily Bread which–get this–is the parent program for Christopher Place and is in the same building, only one floor below. So now I get to work at Our Daily Bread 4 days a week and Christopher Place one day a week! I am ecstatic! Don’t even try to tell me divine intervention isn’t real.

Now, as I sit here in my bedroom on Mulberry Street looking at my life-sized painting of Martin Luther King Jr., I am moved by how providential this all has been. God brought me from my rural hometown of Kintnersville, Pennsylvania to a rural college in Maryland to a wonderful internship in Annapolis to Project SERVE in Baltimore.

I only really attended that fundraising event because I was short on hours for my internship credit. I had no idea I would meet Darryl, Regan, and Lisa, who would then direct me to Allison who would then direct me back to Christopher Place! All I knew was that I had asked God to lead me to an opportunity in which I could serve. MLK said that “Everybody can be great…because anybody can serve. You don’t have to have a college degree to serve. You don’t have to make your subject and verb agree to serve. You only need a heart full of grace. A soul generated by love.” I am ecstatic about joining my incredible housemates and the Catholic Charities staff, who put “cherishing the divine within all” at the forefront of their work, and have already shown me their “soul(s) generated by love.” The first mission of the year: be on the lookout for some good ol’ fashioned divine foreshadowing. To God be the glory.

[editor’s note: going forward, all SERVE members will be asked to provide their own headlines, which are clearly much more creative than those provided by this humble editor]