Friday, 11 May 2007
Christine Hunker, pictured above with fiancee, Chuck, was a student at SPES in 2003-2004. She stayed on to support the school, giving back what she had received during her time at SPES as a student, until December 2004. We are delighted to hear that her and Chuck are getting married ... and here is a word from her:
After leaving SPES in December 2004, I returned to the United States, but not to my home in St. Louis, Missouri. Instead I moved to sunny Miami, Florida, where I began a job as the manager of a Cell and Molecular Biology Laboratory at Florida International University (FIU). What a change from London! All of a sudden I was immersed in the working world again. It was a bit of a tough move for me, not really knowing anyone in Miami except for my boss. However, I found great comfort and strength in all that I had learned during my time with SPES. The year (plus) that I spent in prayer, formation and community made me realize that God must always be at the center of my life. Although I struggle and quite often fall, He is always there to help me stand up, dust off, and try again. And even though I was unsure of the future, I felt a certain peace knowing that God was in control.
Once in Miami, I sought out the closest Catholic Church (St. Agatha’s), which was conveniently located right across the street from the FIU campus. My schedule in the lab was flexible, and I was(am) able to attend Mass each day before work. I received much strength from Christ throughout the transition from SPES to the “real world.” It was, and continues to be, a blessing to be able to begin each day with Our Lord in the Eucharist.
After about a year of working and finding my way around a new city, I made the decision to go back to school to get my Ph.D. in Biology. Last year at about this time I was accepted into the program at FIU. I began my studies in the fall of 2006, and will continue in school for another 2-3 years until I finish my degree. Also right around this time last year I started dating a young man named Chuck Goss whom I met after morning Mass at St. Agatha’s. Upon speaking with him for the first time, I learned that he was an Ecology grad student at FIU and that he was also from the Midwest (Michigan). I found out that although he was attending Mass, he was not Catholic. In fact, he had recently begun his search for Christ, and had been attending different Christian churches. He had become involved in a nearby Baptist church, but felt in his heart that Our Lord was calling him to something more. After much prayer, soul-searching and studying of the Catholic faith he made the decision to join the Catholic Church. He was baptized last month at the Easter Vigil, and I was blessed to be his sponsor throughout the RCIA process. Together we have become involved in various ministries, including Habitat for Humanity and a weekly prayer group.
Chuck asked me to marry him this past January, and now we are engaged! We are getting married on August 18, 2007, in St. Louis. We are so excited that Fr. Alexander will be able to celebrate the Mass. We are blessed in so many ways, and it is certainly through the prayers of many people (including all the members of SPES and St. Patrick’s), and the grace of Our Lord that we came to find each other. We look forward to our wedding day—to our future life together, with Christ always at the center. And hopefully, sometime in the near future, we will be able to visit London. Then Chuck will get a better picture of what I am always talking about when I reminisce about my time with SPES. Hopefully he will also get to meet the people who were important in my faith journey.
I think back often with fond memories to my time with SPES, and continue to hold you all in my prayers. May the Lord bless you all with many gifts, and may He continue to show you the Way as you journey toward Him.
Christine Hunker (Alumni: 2003-2004)
Posted by Jeanine at 9:40 am