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Turn to Jesus (Article)

Looking Back after Two Years
Emma Moroney on her years as a volunteer in the RC Missions Corps.

LA coworkers
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. 

Spoiled by God

“The basic reason I wanted to volunteer a year is that I feel I’ve been spoiled by God in every way.”

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
Emma Moroney
Emma Moroney
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 Rosie
Emma and her sister Rosie while volunteering in Haiti.
and the friendships she was hoping for.

Seeing the Most Beautiful Side

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 fruits.

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 paid off. 

“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 a difference.”

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.”

“It’s beautiful 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 can give.”

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.”



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Sponsored by the congregation of the Legionaries of Christ and the Regnum Christi Movement, Copyright 2011, Legion of Christ. All rights reserved.

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