As the seasons change so does life at Romero Center Ministries. Jeff and Julie have been fantastic colleagues and co-workers. We wish them well on the next stages of their journey. We asked them to reflect a bit on their experience here. Read their thoughts below:
I am a graduate of Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, just across the bridge from Romero Center Ministries. I remember when I was a student there hearing about an amazing experience in Camden called the Urban Challenge. Unfortunately, I was never able to attend.
I would have never imagined that years after my time in college. I would have the opportunity to have my own amazing experience of the Urban Challenge. Not as a participant, but as an employee of Romero Center Ministries.
As I prepare to conclude my time here, there are so many things that I am thankful for — the wonderful schools and churches that support and participate in our programs, the uniquely gifted and super committed staff that works here at the Center, and the life-giving, vibrant energy that can be felt through the work of transformation that takes place here on an almost weekly basis. I am thankful for the vision of Fr. Bob McDermott that gave life to this place, all the people that have been stewards of that vision through the years, and all those that will carry the vision and mission forward for years to come. Most of all, I am thankful that for four years I was a part of it all.
As a part of the team here, I was involved in so many good things, but I have no doubt the best is yet to come. I will remember my time at Romero Center Ministries with great love and appreciation. I look forward to seeing what great things come next!
What I love/appreciate most about the Romero Center is that we provide a space for students to have an encounter…with God, with their brothers and sisters who are marginalized and vulnerable, and with themselves in new and deeper ways.
Participants come to Camden seeking/longing for something…something that they can’t buy, give to, or create for themselves. What they find is a version of themselves that they haven’t seen in some time. They experience themselves as generous, thoughtful, available, creative, simple, and loving. Recently, I listened to a young man speak of an encounter he had at the Inglis House. He shared about spending time with a woman while playing BINGO. He talked about the way the sun was shining in her eyes and she was becoming more and more frustrated because she couldn’t see with such a glare. He responded to her need in a way that was simple and creative. He stood in front of her so that the sun would no longer be in her direct line of vision. He shared about “standing up for her,” and talked about his recognition of the call to stand up for so many others in this world who have no one to stand for them.
This is the gift of the Romero Center. Students/Chaperones have experiences during the day and time at night to take a longer, loving look at all that has happened with and for them. We teach/help them to slow down and notice the presence of God…to notice all that God is inviting them to, to see who God is calling them to be…to see their great potential.
It is my great privilege to be a part of it all.