Veronica Favela, Advancement Manager
I was recently gifted a painting of a modern day Saint Veronica (check her out below). A young college student from Columbus named Gracie Morbitzer paints portraits of saints all in a modern fashion. She describes her art as "Saints painted with character, correct age and ethnicity, and modern style to show how human they were: how amazing, and how just like us."
Just like us.
Just like you. Just like me. Just like us.
I think Gracie has a true gift and I'm so happy that she's sharing it with the world. She reminds us that it's not unreasonable to strive for sainthood; saints are just like us. Her Therese of Lisieux has rose tattoos on her collerbone, Ignatius is holding a book and a pen, and Joseph is wearing a Carpenters band tshirt. Saints are often portrayed as high and almighty, but in reality I think they were mostly a group of misfits that stumbled upon grace. They each had their place in the world with "little flowers" or "finding lost objects," and among our volunteer groups, we have ours like "I"m the kids' clothes lady" and "We're the chili group." We find our place and then we find our grace.
Earlier this month we welcomed a new volunteer to our crew from a workforce program where she earns her food stamps by volunteering a certain amount of hours. I'm not going to sugar coat it - she was not pleasant when she arrived. She complained and let us know multiple times that she didn't want to be here. When shown a little bit of kindness, a little bit of grace, she opened right up. At the end of the day I let her know that I was proud that she was able to overcome her rough morning and that I thought she would fit in well here. She smiled and said, "Thanks, I don't fit in many places."
Each day, our clients and volunteers allow us these daily interactions for moments of grace. I look forward to seeing Gracie Morbitzer paint even more portraits of people just like us.