Have you ever had a conversation with a stranger and had it drive you to action? If it was at St. Francis, there’s a good chance it was Marylou Holloway. Marylou is involved in many ministries, from the Migrant Ministry to St. Vincent De Paul to Oak City Cares, and she has never met a stranger, only a new friend. What drives her dynamism? “I don’t want ever to meet the Lord,” she says, “and have him say, ‘You passed Lazarus at the gate.’” It’s passion, though, never fear, that pushes her to help, “I think I get more out of it than the people I serve,” she offers.
Marylou is a stalwart volunteer in many ministries and remembers an inspirational moment for her. “I traveled for a living and have gone to daily masses nationwide. I went to a church in Eagan, Minnesota,” she remembers, “And on the doors, it said, ‘You’re now entering the mission field.’” “Every homily there,” said Marylou, “was about meeting Christ in everyone we encounter, and it was powerful.” She has gone on to learn that helping out has been collectively humbling and inspiring. “We are all called to see Christ in everybody,” she firmly believes.
When asked how people can get involved, she says, “Just look around! I wish we could let everyone see all the opportunities on ‘St. Francis Serves;’ there’s something for everybody.” While not everyone can feed people at a shelter or drive for migrants, there’s something out there for practically everybody because we have so many ministries. Discussing opportunities behooves those in ministry because you never know when one will arise. She recalls a story that illustrates how the option to connect is all around us. “The chapel was packed for daily mass, and someone I didn’t know sat beside me. I had been thinking,” she remembers, “‘Wouldn’t it be nice to get missals in Spanish for the people served by the Migrant Ministry.’” The person beside her mentioned she had seen her in a bulletin article about migrant ministry and asked how the effort was going. “Of course,” she says, “then I’m off and running saying how great it would be to get these missals in Spanish for the migrants.” That woman wrote her a check right then to cover the cost of those missals. ‘You’re now entering the mission field’ was never truer for Marylou or her new friend and donor!