Like so many journeys in faith, Maritza Mejia’s journey simply kept unfolding. She never planned for this journey to occur but is ever grateful for her path.
Maritza is from Colombia and her husband from Nicaragua. Twenty-eight years ago, they were married and came to the U.S. As she raised her two children, she wanted to be part of their education. What better way than to serve as a volunteer in their classes? Her children were in public schools, and she wanted them to be strongly rooted in the Faith, so she enrolled them in a catechetical program and served as a volunteer for it as well.
Maritza had always been a servant in the local parish church and the community. She said yes to many roles and yearned to be enriched spiritually and intellectually along the way. But the yearning to teach kept calling to her. She went from volunteering in the classroom to teaching catechism. For 14 years now she has been a catechist, teaching primarily 6th and 7th graders as they prepare for confirmation.
She finds students of that age to be interesting. So many times, after having received their First Holy Communion, students fall away from the faith a bit. But, as they embark on studies for confirmation, they must catch up and relearn what they were taught before as the Holy Spirit guides and encourages them to learn about the Faith.
When COVID hit and lockdowns occurred, all of the confirmation preparation courses shifted to Zoom. Maritza was determined to make Zoom classes more personal and inspire the students to turn back to the Lord. As she found herself quiet as well during the lockdown, she began to explore how she could deepen her prayer life and learn more about her faith. She embarked on the Master’s in Theology at CDU and received her degree in November 2022.
Already, she sees such enormous value from her degree. She finds that her teaching has improved, she now knows the strategies to use, where the resources are, and is constantly revising her lessons based on what she has learned from her coursework.
But what Maritza values the most is that through her studies in theology, she learned to let God guide her to serve Him. She had never done that before. Her studies were not just about becoming more knowledgeable, they led her to pray to praise God, to serve Him, in ways that are new for her.
She now sees His hand along her path, as she says yes to God. As CDU develops its Catholic Social Teaching program, Maritza has been tapped to help translate information into Spanish for the program. She shared, “I am totally blessed for this opportunity!”
Maritza is a beautiful example of how God guides someone to serve Him: from a dedicated mother of faith, to teaching others catechism, and now translating material so even more people can turn to God. Maritza gives witness to all of us of the work God does in our lives when we simply say yes to Him.