Where I work

Sorry for the hiatus!! You may remember my last post was about where I live.  So this one, is about where I work. I guess a hiatus was fitting though, in that I have one month of work under my belt to reflect on now!

First, the WHERE in “where I work.”

I work here:

You can see me lookin super tiny at the bottom to the center-right. The proportions look a bit off but this is the outside of the Quigley Center, the main office of the Archdiocese of Chicago

It’s a gorgeous old building, that used to be a seminary/high school but is now the Pastoral Center of the Archdiocese of Chicago. It has the most gorgeous chapel inside where I can attend Daily Mass during my lunch break. Serious, check out this stained glass!

This pic does little justice to the stained glass window in the back of the chapel (the reverse side of the circular patterned windows in the above pic)


And this isn’t located just anywhere. It’s located one block from Michigan Avenue, the central point in Chicago for all the upscale shopping you could ever want. I consider it the millionaire’s outlet mall. Also, right across from the Quigley Center… An indoor car dealership that sells, get this, Rolls Royce, Bentley, Lamborghini, and some other 6-figure brand of car. My jaw dropped the first time I realized that. Night and day from where I live. (More on this to come).

Which leads to the WORK part of Where I work.

I guess it’s not surprising that I wear business attire every day considering I work in downtown Chicago in this upscale district. That’s right, this Melissa, in heels (usually) and business attire (everyday). Kinda surprising, huh?!

I  bet you can see that my “service site” or job, is not what you’d consider your normal, “I’m- doing-a-volunteer-year”  placement. It’s much more administrative/analytical than direct-service. But I knew that going in. AND it’s still volunteer, still needed service, and still a mutually beneficial placement. All good things.

I work as a “Parish Tranformation Analyst” (yes, my housemates love to make me share my hoity-toity (sp?) sounding job title when we introduce ourselves to ppl) for the Archdiocese of Chicago.

Here’s a quick peek at what my site is/what my position is:

Description of Site: The Archdiocese of Chicago serves Chicagoland’s 2.3 million Catholics through 370+ parishes and 200+ schools.  The Pastoral Center of the Archdiocese serves these parishes and schools through a range of services and support (e.g., liturgical support; ministerial support; HR, real estate, & finance support).  The Parish Transformation group at the Pastoral Center is focused on working with parishes to help them renew their mission / vision and to achieve financial stability.

Description of Position: The experience of this position would provide the volunteer with a rich understanding of parish life and how to help parishes improve in the living out of their mission.  The volunteer would gain valuable experience in influencing skills—i.e., encouraging people of all backgrounds to make what may sometimes be difficult decisions.

This experience would also provide strong development opportunities for the volunteer in financial analysis, process management and implementation.  It would be a great opportunity for someone considering a future career in business or not-for-profit management.

It sounded like a great opportunity to combine my religion and econ majors (it has been!) and a great way to support parish life (also true!).  I believe that having a strong church community is so crucial to a healthy individual faith life, that I felt called to help in this way.  There were some other attractions to the job that will eventually be apparent as well 😉

But let’s get down to the nitty-gritty. I’ve spent most of this first month, spending a lot of time either 1. unsure of what to do next or 2. confused about how to do my task when I had one. I’ve learned soooo much about Excel that I never knew. The Vlookup function and Pivot Tables are my new specialties 😉

It’s also been incredibly humbling, being a new ’employee,’ with soo much to learn-about the diocese, about my department, about Excel, about what my job actually entails, about how to love well the people around me when my job is very computer- and business-oriented.

I’ve also been continually reminded, I don’t have the bigger picture. God has me here (in this particular job) for a reason, probably many, even when it’s not as apparent as I’d like. Even when the most interaction I’ve had all day with real live people is during a brief reprieve when I hear people pouring coffee and I go to join. I’m learning to be patient while finding myself working in a setting I never quite imagined for myself.  I’m trusting in His call to be in this place, at this time.  

Thanks for reading!

All for the glory of God,



4 thoughts on “Where I work

  1. It takes a lot of courage and faith to let go of what you want and let God lead you. As always, I’m very impressed and inspired. When I was doing a ton of computer work at St. Anthony’s, I was at first discouraged/confused as to how I could be with people, too. But, I found the office environment tends to be a place where people who stare at computer screens for hours a day just need a smile or a hug. Simply your presence can and probably already is a ministry. 🙂

    See you in a month!!!!!


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