Steward Story: Maura Starshak

As part of our ongoing engagement process, we have come to realize the importance of parishioners sharing their personal stories of how they have connected with Saint Clement as an important factor in their lives. As a feature twice a month, we share the stories and reflections of our engaged parishioners who are living a stewardship life of prayer, service, and giving. This week we hear from Maura Starshak.

I could not feel more blessed to have Saint Clement as my spiritual home in Chicago. My connection with Saint Clement began after the birth of my second child 10 years ago when I joined Clement Moms and the Clement Moms book club. Our book club still exists and provides me a meaningful place to discuss life, faith, parenting and current events with women whose values I admire and trust.

We now live in Lincoln Square and I am often asked why we travel to Saint Clement for Mass. Simply put, Saint Clement is the place where I have experienced tremendous growth in my faith, and the parish continually nourishes my connection with God. Attending Anchor Ball and participating in the Sunday Giving Commitment were easy forays into stewardship, but I have longed for something more. My first direct stewardship experience at Saint Clement, which continues to the present, is Bill's and my participation in Pre Cana. We have been teaching for nine years now, and it is a joy to watch new couples grow into families before our eyes.

One of the most impactful stewardship programs for me has been Strengths for the Journey. What a gift it has been to focus on God-given talents and how to use them in the world! Armed with this knowledge, my entire family recently joined our Hospitality Ministry here at Saint Clement. In addition to yearly Service Day, we now have a ministry that we can repeatedly do together as a family.

The most recent expansion of my stewardship at Saint Clement has been as a Religious Education teacher. There was a moment last spring in which I felt the presence of God calling me to teach and, as usual, Saint Clement was there with a way to grow in God's plan for me. I currently teach our youngest students in Pre-K and Kindergarten and feel so blessed to introduce them to the joy of learning about Jesus.

I am so grateful to have Saint Clement as an integral part of my faith journey and I look forward to growing in God's love with Saint Clement as the anchor steadying my path through life.