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Recent Program Alumni Share Lessons Learned

By Melissa Uzelac | January 17, 2024

“In many ways, I’ve been transformed by my experience with Labouré,” shares recent Labouré program graduate and seminarian for the Diocese of Fort Wayne / South Bend, Mason Bailey. “[It] exceeded my expectations. I can’t wait to be able to come back to Labouré Live as a priest and be able to give back to an organization I love. I’m eternally grateful.”

Graduate Cheryl Bergin of the Poor Clare Colettine Nuns agrees. “I’ve had many miracles in my life, but the biggest one God did most recently is The Labouré Society. To obliterate six-figure debt in nine months is not a coincidence. I thank God for the cross of student debt. There’s a certain point in carrying a cross that you recognize its beauty and the gift that it is. We don’t carry it alone; we carry it with one another [as a Labouré class that fundraises together]. It’s such a joy to help your fellow classmates carry their cross. I can’t thank God enough: Labouré is the greatest formation tool. I needed the extra [time] to be stripped of the things that I need to let go of in order to enter the cloister. [Labouré provides an opportunity] to evangelize and tell people how much you love Jesus. I’ve met so many awesome people through this and God has shown me His love through so many people.”

Reid Robilotto, another graduate and soon-to-be seminarian for the Archdiocese of Washington D.C., puts his experience with Labouré this way: “Not only did Labouré change my perspective on fundraising; it also changed me. [Sharing] my vocation story over and over and encountering so many generous individuals has sharpened my awareness of my dependence on God and others. I have…learned that God provides all that I need to follow Him, often through relationships with my brothers and sisters. There were certainly practical skills I learned and developed during the class: time management, organization, communication, and the like, but more valuable changes I’ve observed in myself include the development of a supernatural outlook on the things of the world…and a deeper capacity for relationship.”

The theme of increased dependence upon God is one that echoes throughout reflections by Labouré program alumni. Aloni Bonilla of The Federation of Koinonia John the Baptist, sums it up: “Labouré really taught me something: [it] called me to get out of my comfort zone and really, truly depend on God. I really needed that lesson….the tools and support that Labouré gave was the most precious pearl that could be given to me in the most difficult time of my life. That’s what I needed to learn, this poverty. Labouré taught me…a radical dependence upon the Father.”

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