Tell me about your faith journey before the COVID-19 pandemic.
I attended Catholic schools and went to church somewhat regularly growing up. Still, I didn’t start to take my faith seriously until my first year at Marquette, when I followed some new friends into Campus Ministry and the Liturgical Choir. Both eventually led to the Mass and music ministry taking a more prominent place in my life. Even with that involvement, in college and for a few years beyond, there was an element of “going through the motions” present in my faith life. I wasn’t taking many steps to go much deeper than that.
How was Eucharistic adoration a catalyst in your faith life at the beginning of the pandemic?
At St. Jerome, we’re blessed to have a perpetual adoration chapel. In late 2019, every week, I was staring at the section of our church bulletin listing the times when we needed more weekly adorers but never signed up. Shortly before the pandemic hit, our adoration coordinator (who I hadn’t met before) stopped me after Mass one day to chat. When I realized who she was, I decided to say “yes” to what I was already feeling drawn to and finally picked a weekly adoration hour. Public Masses were canceled just a few weeks later. Having adoration available when attending Mass wasn’t an option helped strengthen my faith life while our churches were closed. My faith could have easily been weakened instead.
What is the Hallow app, and how has it enhanced your prayer life?
Hallow is a Catholic prayer and meditation app. Hallow launched in December 2018 and, by the grace of God, has become the number one Catholic app in the world. Our content includes audio-guided rosaries, novenas, daily readings and reflections, music, Bible stories for sleep, mental health and kids’ content, and much more. I first downloaded Hallow to join the 2020 Advent #Pray25 community challenge. Some beautiful App Store reviews moved me, and since I wasn’t praying daily at the time, I thought a daily challenge might help me make prayer a habit. Outside of #Pray25, one of the first sessions I tried on Hallow was “Sitting in silence with God,” which is part of the Intro Challenge. The meditation asks you to envision sitting on a bench with God next to you. I had never tried to imagine what it would be like just to sit in the presence of God, let alone to treat prayer as a conversation with him, so this was an incredibly powerful experience. Through meditations like this, Hallow made it easy and enjoyable to set prayer goals, develop a routine, and spend more time with God.
How did you discern working for Hallow?
Around the time I started using Hallow, I started feeling like I needed a stronger sense of purpose in my work, so I brought this to God during adoration. In February 2021, I asked God out loud in the chapel, “What do you want me to do?” This moment was when the thought first crossed my mind, seemingly out of nowhere: “You should go work for a company like Hallow.” Just a few weeks later, Hallow sent out an email about job openings, and they were looking for their first finance hire. Especially after that earlier nudge from the Holy Spirit, I got excited about the prospect of using my professional skills to bring others closer to God through this app that already meant so much to me.
What have you found particularly rewarding or challenging in your new role?
One good challenge has been getting used to a startup environment after coming from a big company with much more structure. I love blending my professional career with a faith-based mission that I truly believe in. I also love hearing stories from our users about how Hallow has impacted their lives.
Where have you seen the Holy Spirit at Work recently?
Over the past three or so years, there have been more times than I can count when some conversation or decision that seemed minor at the time ended up becoming part of the critical path to essential choices later on (including the events that led me to Hallow). Reflecting on this has made me much more aware of how the Holy Spirit works in the ordinary events of our lives.
What have you read recently that stays with you?
I find the concept of surrender extremely difficult, so the book “He Leadeth Me” by Walter Ciszek, S.J., was very inspirational. It’s a beautiful testament of trusting in God and his providence in incredibly challenging circumstances.
What do you like to do in your personal time?
I love being part of the community at my gym, Burn Boot Camp in Waukesha. Nick and I also like to get outside for walks, hikes and bike rides, so we are very much looking forward to warmer weather.