|Three Louisiana RC Mission Corps volunteers: Allie, Anne, and Emma.|
By Mary Houser
Anyone who volunteers two years of her life
to serve God has to be pretty generous. But talk
to Emma Moroney, and you will soon see that she
thinks God is still outdoing her in generosity. The one
word she uses to describe her volunteer years? Gift.
“The basic reason I wanted to volunteer a year
is that I feel I’ve been spoiled by God in
That’s how Emma describes her decision to become a
Regnum Christi Mission Corps volunteer. Coming from a Calgary,
Alberta family of eight children, two of whom are adopted
and two of whom volunteered years in the RCMC before
her, generosity was part of the family.
In 2005 Emma
volunteered her summer with the ECYD Summer Mission Corps- a
six-week program for young girls looking to grow more in
their faith and share it with others. That summer of
service in Dallas, TX convinced Emma that she knew what
she wanted to do after high school.
“I’d always been
given so much in my family and faith, and I
realized it wasn’t all for me. So many other people
don’t know their faith like I do. So many people
haven’t experienced God’s love like I have. I felt I
should share what I’ve been given.”
So she went back home,
got a job and started raising money to pay for
her upcoming volunteer year.
At the end of the
volunteer training program Emma was sent to do ministry in
Louisiana. She was not surprised by the location—in fact, her
parents had predicted it—but God did have some surprises in
store for her.
For starters, she expected to have several
other Mission Corps volunteers on her team, as usually happens.
“One of the reasons I was excited to be a
volunteer was because of the great friendships you make being
with other volunteers,” she says. So when her “team” consisted
of one other person, it was hard.
“God purifies your
intentions,” she says.
But she adds, “He also gives you
the grace for what he asks. Those months were quite
difficult, especially given the difficulties the Movement as a whole
was going through at the same time. Looking back I
think, ‘How did I do that?’ I didn’t do that.
It was God.”
But God not only asks, he also gives.
This year—her second as a volunteer—she has the larger team
|Emma and her sister Rosie while volunteering in Haiti.|
and the friendships she was hoping for.
Seeing the Most
Yet despite challenges like this one, Emma describes her
volunteer work as a “gift.” In Louisiana, she gets to
do a little bit of everything. She helps run Challenge Clubs for girls and Compass and Christian
Life groups for college students. She also works with several
parish youth groups and mentors students in Cypress Heights, a
school founded by Regnum Christi members that implements the Integral
Formation® method of education.
One highlight of the year was a
discussion group for high school girls on John Paul II’s
Theology of the Body. The group came together spontaneously and
met every few weeks. But this simple activity bore abundant
Emma says that several girls asked her afterwards, “Why
has no one told me this? I didn’t realize how
precious I was, how much God loves me. Why didn’t
anybody tell me this before?”
Emma also organized several retreats for
young women. Although it was a lot of work, it
“People would often call afterward and tell me,
‘That was exactly what I needed.’ In apostolate, you get
to see the most beautiful side of people, because you’re
working to bring out the best. You get people in
all different situations with their faith, but you work to
bring out the best in them. Even if all you
do is encourage the faith that’s already there, you make
No Better Way
Emma is grateful that she was
able to volunteer these years because she realizes she may
never have the opportunity again.
“Right now I have the
freedom to volunteer these years. I don’t have any other
responsibilities or immediate things I have to do,” she says.
“God has given me the opportunity and the freedom, and
I should use it in the best way.”
that I can use this time to build the Church
and spread His Kingdom. It’s a gift and there’s no
better way to spend it. It’s the least that I
Yet in giving to God, she’s received far
more in return.
“Because God is God, it’s more than
you think it’s going to be. It’s a gift.”