Hello, everyone!

So, I promised news when I figure out where I’m headed, and here it is:

When I was at home for Spring Break, I was taking my dad to the chiropractor in Columbia. Somewhere on those windy roads between Rolla and Columbia, I got a phone call from Notre Dame letting me know that I was accepted into the Echo program. At first, I wasn’t all that ecstatic. I really wanted to be at one of the other places. I spent the day praying about it and had a talk with my spiritual director over the phone. When I got back to Rolla, I went to the Public House (an awesome little brewery owned by friends of mine) and sat with my confirmation sponsor, who is a dear friend (and the father of the girl who opened the brewery with her husband) and we talked. That night, after having talked to Denise, Tom, and my parents and after spending a lot of time arguing with God, I realized that this was what I was being called to do.

That was step one. Step two was finding out where I will be placed.

Now, for those of you who don’t know about the Echo program, here’s a summary. I take classes at Notre Dame during the summer and then take online classes during the school year while being placed at a parish in one of three host diocese. While I am at the parish, I will be living in community with other Echo apprentices. After two years, I have an MA in Theology. My tuition is paid for and I get a stipend that covers rent on the apartment that the community stays in and things like that.

When I first found out I was in Echo, the three diocese I was told about were Indianapolis, Houston, and Camden, NJ. I was really hoping for Indy, but over the course of the next few weeks I came up with pro-lists for each (no con lists, that wouldn’t be very open of me, would it?). Just as I had found something about my last choice (NJ) that made me really excited about it, I got the news. I’m going to Indie!

So, here’s what that means to me. I will be living in OR near (we don’t know if I’ll actually be in Indianapolis because I’m going to be in the diocese, that doesn’t equal the city) the 12th largest city in the States (which shouldn’t be such a big deal after living in the fourth largest metropolitan area in the states, the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex- did you know that DFW is larger than Rhode Island and Connecticut combined?). So, in numbers, here is what living in Indianapolis will mean to me:

14 hours (909 miles) from Dallas
6 hours (400 miles) from Rolla, MO
1.5 hours (82 miles) from the White Violet Center for Eco-Justice (another of the places I wanted to work)
2.5 hours (150 miles) from my family in Cedar Lake, IN
3.5 hours (180 miles) from my best friend in Chicago
4 hours (210 miles) from my best girlfriend since I was 3 years old, Hannah, in Granville, OH
4.5 hours (250 miles) from my other best friend in St. Louis, MO (and several other high school friends, too!)
5 hours (280 miles) from my old roomie and close friend in Milwaukee

My new diocese will have
232,273 Catholics
150 Parishes
253 Clergy (I don’t know how many of those are active)
2 Catholic Colleges
10 Catholic High Schools

So, those are the numbers. That’s a heck of a lot less than my wonderful Diocese of Dallas. Oh, Dallas, I will miss you! I guess I’ll have to let you know how it goes!
I’m really excited. Please pray for me!