Caitlin Crotty

A Life Of Service

By Caitlin Crotty 

An American college student discerns God’s calling and gives back by volunteering in the Columban Catholic Social Justice Ministry in Washington DC.

People have always asked me what I want to be when I ‘grow up’. At age 10, I wanted to be a fashion designer; by 13, the first female president of the United States. I have dreamt of being everything from a high school English teacher to a Peace Corps volunteer. Now when people ask me what I want to be, I just smile, shrug my shoulders, and tell them that I don’t know. And I honestly don’t.

But, I have an idea. My parents have instilled in me the importance of helping others, and I have learned from their example about our duty as citizens of the world to give back to our families and communities. We have the responsibility and capability to make a positive, significant difference in our world.

As such, I have been involved in community service organizations in high school and college, but I never knew how to turn this experience into a lifelong career.

As a high school senior, I read this quote from John Glavin, an English professor at Georgetown University: ‘It’s a very old Jesuit ideal that people are in the world to help save it.’ In that moment I realized that no matter how great it would be to own a smoothie shop on a Caribbean island – my life ambition at the time – I could best live my life working in service to others.(Editor’s note: ‘Smoothies’ are made from non-fat yogurt, real fruit juice, frozen and fresh fruits, berries and ice. A first-cousin of halo-halo?)