I Am Third: An Introduction
If I find in myself desires which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only logical explanation is that I was made for another world.
Hello, reader! My name is Charlene Marie. I am a 22 year-old resident of beautiful British Columbia, Canada. Currently a newly-transferred Political Science/Sociology student in university, the blessing of a post-secondary education will most likely be my main vocation for the foreseeable future.
I am a cradle Catholic and was active in the Church even before I emigrated from the Philippines. My family’s dedication to experiencing the wholeness of Catholic life, on top of the genuine joy my parents showed while doing good works for God, got me to enjoy it too. I accompanied my mother with little to no complaint (excitement, even) to commute to the Redemptorist Shrine of Our Mother of Perpetual Help for novena every Wednesdays, despite the discomfort of being uncomfortably surrounded by over 2,000 other devotees to the miracles and intercessions of Mary during Baclaran Day. I would sleep in my father’s arms while both my parents continued to lift up prayers in front of my grandfather’s tombstone overnight during All Souls Day. I would even wake up at the crack of dawn to walk with my parents to church to observe the Simbang Gabi mass novena during Advent.
(I really suggest you click on the links for even just a tidbit of insight as to what I am talking about.) :)
Praise God that my family’s connection to Catholicism did not wane upon moving to Canada when I was 7. After settling down, the four of us became active at the same parish we still attend. We barely ever sat/sit together! At one time or another a family member altar served, sang in the choir, taught Sunday school, or administered the bread and wine.
I am now currently a Program Head Volunteer for Youth ANCOP (Answering the Cry of the Poor) in my area, a youth social justice ministry affiliated with ANCOP International. I serve youth through conducting workshops, creating awareness of the state of our world and that of their surroundings, empowering our youth to change the lives of the poor, and planning mission trips for them to build homes for the poorest of the poor in the Philippines.
For quite a few years now, the Lord has really stretched my heart to not only love Him through the personal relationship I strive to foster with Him, but to help change the livelihood of fellow brothers and sisters whose basic needs are not being met: the poor, the hungry, the ostracized, the abandoned. I felt a strong calling to help feed, clothe, and shelter those who need it most for “whatever you did for one of these least brothers of mine, you did for Me” (Matt. 25:40, NAB).
If you actually read through the entirety of this bio, I firstly applaud you. Second, I extend a virtual handshake to you. I could only share so much in this, my first entry. Thank you for allowing the written expression of my faith to accompany you on your own faith journey and/or search for Catholic information.
God first, others second, I am third.
May God be praised.