Life Story – Danielle Savard
I’ve been here my whole life (I’m almost 19). I was baptized here — first communion, confirmation, and all the youth groups, and the ‘Atrium’ – catechism for seven or eight years. Nine years I did the Christmas hamper thing; and then I was involved in the choir here: for the Youth Mass at 4 o’clock, the charismatic Mass, I was in the music ministry. I played the flute and I sang.
I’ve gotten all my formation here, now I’m going out into the world to evangelize through an organization called NET — a national evangelization team, NET Canada. I’ll be going coast to coast, working with youth, using my music ministry. We’ll put on youth retreats, programs, youth rallies. It’ll be a blast! I’m really looking forward to it.
I’ve received so much info from my faith, and now I look forward to sharing that with the world. I leave the 22nd of August, and I’ll be gone ten months, from August to mid-December. I’ll have a two week break at Christmas when I can home. And then I’m gone from January to June. A full year.
Yes we have to fund-raise! NET covers part of it and we have to fund raise the remainder. I’m a first year university student – in the school of music at Canadian Mennonite University- so my friends at school will be going into second year without me! have other friends with jobs.
I’m excited – really pumped for it. It’s going to be such an adventure. God just kind of dropped this in my lap – at the last minute. It was a big question (as in) ‘Were you prepared to leave everything and follow Me?’ God really knows me!
How it happened: I applied for NET in May; then got an answer from them in mid-summer saying ‘unfortunately we are full.’ And so I moved on with life and accepted a scholarship at Mennonite University. I got a full-time job and registered for a retreat called ‘Ignite’ (A Face-to-Face ministry). Everything was laid out and I had planned it!
Then, at the end of July I get a call – unexpected- from NET and they said, ‘due to unforeseen circumstances’ two people cancelled: ‘You’re next on our list!’ They wanted to do a couple interviews with me. NET is based in Ottawa, so this was all done over the phone. They still had my application from May. So I had three interviews with them and they said they’d get back to me. Five days later, the 1st of August, I got a call saying I was accepted. It turned my whole world upside down! I had five days to give them an answer; I’ve never prayed or discerned so hard in my entire life. Stressful! But in those 5 days, the amount of ‘confirmation’ I got was . . . unbelievable.
Father Martin is just fabulous – such a down-to-earth guy. You can relate to him on every level; he’s such a good shepherd. And he’s fabulous with rallying youth, getting them involved in everything. He’s just so loveable, you can talk to him about anything. He and I will go out for coffee or play a round of golf, or we’ll have him over for dinner. He’s part of the family, you know.
Who’s the holiest or saintliest person I know of? Pope John Paul really inspired me. I’ve met so many people who are ‘on the road to holiness’ – I sense that about them. It’s such a strong faith community at Holy Cross. You’re constantly challenged – and supported – to grow in your faith.
Just thought of a few other things about Holy Cross! Me and my brother have, for a couple years, been in the Christmas pageant here. And the all-year-’round flexibility of Mass times has been so convenient and helpful. You never have an excuse to miss Mass!
We go to weekly adoration here. It’s been such a beautiful thing in my life to have that quiet prayer time and to have access to that, 24/7.