THE SHORT VERSION:
THE BECCA BASICS
Becca is the second of four children in a Catholic family from Goshen, New York. In 2013, she graduated with a degree in mass communications from Benedictine College (Kansas), where she first encountered Saint Paul’s Outreach. Though she grew up Catholic, SPO brought a whole new depth to her relationship with God that increased in her the desire to serve.
After an incredible experience at SPO’s School of the New Evangelization in the summer of 2012, Becca decided to serve as a full-time Mission Leader with SPO. In the 2013-14 school year, Becca served at Arizona State University–one of SPO’s newest chapters–where she and her fellow Missionaries helped lay a foundation for future students and staff. From the fall of 2014 onward, she has been serving at Texas State University.
THE LONG VERSION:
A PLANNED SERIES OF ACCIDENTS
Once upon a time, there was a little hippie child named Becca. She was born to a Catholic family in the great state of New York–the state, not the city–where she spent her youth learning under her homeschooling parents, babysitting her two little siblings alongside her older brother, and creating works of art (also known as vandalism) on the underside of her mother’s kitchen table.
Quite by accident, Becca graduated from high school early and decided to leave the nest at the age of 16. Following in her older brother’s footsteps, she moved to California to study film and communications media. It was a fun adventure, but after about a year she realized that the film industry just wasn’t for her. She transferred then to a tiny little college in middle-of-nowhere Atchison, KS: Benedictine.
With the transition came a lot of cloudiness. At that point, Becca had little idea of what she wanted to do with her life. Since Benedictine didn’t have a film program, her credits transferred over as mass communications, so she stumbled into that major without much thought. As it turned out, she was pretty good at it. She also re-discovered her love for art, a passion she’d had all her life, and took up an art minor towards the end of her junior year.
Things were starting to look up, but something was missing. Becca had always loved her Catholic faith and put it first in everything. At Benedictine, she’d go to daily Mass, spend hours in adoration, read all the best Catholic books, go to as many retreats, talks, and conferences as she could manage; but still, her personal relationship with the Lord felt one-sided, stale and forced. She was weary from dutifully checking off items on her “how-to-be-a-good-Catholic” list without experiencing any of the peace and joy that was supposed to come as a result of it.
One day, she impulsively went with a total stranger to something called a “prayer meeting” hosted by Saint Paul’s Outreach. Though a little scandalized by their charismatic praise, there was something about their joy that drew her back again and again, and she eventually signed up for their Fan Into Flame retreat as a last resort.
It was there that she consciously experienced the power of the Holy Spirit for the first time since her confirmation, and recognized that what she’d been missing was His power in her life and the support of a community of faith. From there she got more involved in the SPO community and began to develop a more personal relationship with the Lord.
In the summer of 2012, Becca found herself in Minnesota for SPO’s School of the New Evangelization (SNE). This had also been somewhat of an accident, since in her mind it was simply an add-on to a trip she’d already planned to photograph a friend’s wedding that happened to be that week and in the same area. It was at SNE, however, that the trajectory of her life was changed forever.
There, she felt a tug on her heart to do something with her life that wasn’t for herself. There, her idea of a successful future was challenged and replaced with a new possibility: mission work. Her next and final year at Benedictine would be spent carefully discerning if this was truly a call from the Lord and preparing to give her “fiat.”
Fearful, unsure and not knowing what the heck she was doing, Becca found herself in Minnesota once again, learning everything she needed to learn about SPO at their annual staff training. It didn’t make sense to her–she was shy, awkward, introverted, and felt ill-equipped to do the things she was being taught, but she knew in her heart that she had been called, so she kept going.
It wasn’t until she had served a full year at Arizona State University that she started to realize how this call wasn’t a temporary fling that postponed her career in art, photography and writing. Rather, it was a life-long call to radical evangelization, one that God had prepared her for in so many ways throughout her life that, until then, she had perceived as accidents. Turns out they were very much on purpose.
Her second year, Becca was moved to Texas State University. There, Becca continued to find more ways to use her gifts and talents–some of which she had originally assumed she’d have to give up for mission work–to serve the Lord. She found a home in the great state of Texas and currently foresees herself staying there indefinitely.
Her years on mission have been the most challenging years of Becca’s life, but also the most fulfilling; because for the first time, she lived them in full acceptance of her role in the story God was writing, even if she couldn’t see more than a few pages ahead. With each day, the plot unfolds even more to reveal a perfect plan, carefully designed by the author of life.