Being an LCI Teacher & Co-Director of Formation, I have one of the most incredible, adventurous, demanding, humbling, romantic, fulfilling, and challenging jobs in the world: I get to be the one who spends her life setting up all of the right conditions for a person to have a lived encounter with the person of Jesus Christ. My role here is all about setting up situations and lived experiences of what it means to be Catholic; it is a journeying-with students for one year, walking with them wherever they are at, and hopefully coming to see more clearly the truth about ourselves and the world we live in. And the best part? Its success really has nothing to do with me! The mystery and working of God’s grace operating concretely in their lives is a beautiful thing to be given to see. All I have to do is be faithful to the mission.
What does this look like in a practical, day-to-day way? LCI’s program is focused on personal and integrated formation through a common spiritual, social, and academic life. The life of prayer and worship on the Gaming campus is the basis from which we do everything. Daily Mass, Eucharistic adoration, the sacraments, and personal prayer time become the rhythm of our day, creating habits within a strong community of support. But our faith isn’t just about our time set aside in prayer – Catholicism informs the whole of our existence. It changes not just what free time activities we do, but also how we do them. Striving to live a life of virtue changes how we relate to others and the mode in which we approach the world and everything in it. Common dinners, biking trips, social evenings out, all provide ways we can grow and live out our faith in a truly Catholic manner. Finally, since you can’t love what you don’t know, the academic portion of our formation is also critical. Having a working knowledge of the Church’s teaching, and being able to give informed and well reasoned answers to questions of faith is important not just for a defence of the Faith, but is also a pre-requisite for growing more in love with Christ Himself. In addition, this spiritual, social, and academic formation of the person is done in the common language of English, which binds our group together more fully, as we express the same mysteries in the same tongue.
Over the last five years, having the opportunity to be an LCI Teacher has been one of the most wonder-filled projects I’ve ever been involved in. The mission of LCI is simple and clear. Though it can be summed up in many ways, through the eyes of the teacher I would say that it is a project in which I get to be involved and stand witness to the tremendous working of grace in the lives of young people from all over the world. They bring with them joy and enthusiasm, and over the years many have touched me and changed me in a profound way. And I know that the same is true for them in the LCI experience. We are here, we are a mission faithful to evangelization, we have the humble privilege of walking along with these students year in and year out, and grow in amazement at the work that God does. And though it may be a quiet and humble work, it is setting many souls on fire. What is more important, more beautiful, than that?