Experience Making a Difference

Experience Making a Difference

Abundant Grace: God’s Work and the rest of the Story

by | Apr 18, 2024

I would like to thank Teddy Michel, IVC NEPA and all of those who were connected with the wonderful Evening of Gratitude. My family and I truly enjoyed the evening. To be honest I was a bit overwhelmed. Thank you so much for an evening that I will remember for a long time.

The journey to where we are today actually started with a meeting I had with my Episcopal pastor. I volunteered to be the stewardship chairman of our parish in the early 90s. I wasn’t even sure what the stewardship chairman did. I had a few meetings with Fr. Henry Male and we talked about tithing. I was always intimidated by the thought of tithing, but he taught me that you did not have to start with 10% of your income. You could get there gradually over several years. The goal was to eventually get to 10%. He also believed that the 10% should be split between donations to the church and donations to nonprofits. I can tell you that once Kristie and I started tithing, it gave me a whole new perspective on money and the needs of others. It helped to de- emphasize for me the focus that our culture puts on money.

But even this attitude did not prevent the depression that was to come. Fortunately, that depression led me to Fr. George Schemel, SJ. We met over the course of several years and he guided me through the Jesuit’s “Retreat in the Flow of Life,” otherwise known as the 19th Annotation. With Fr. George as a guide, our company started a charity committee known as the One Point of Light. Soon our company was tithing. We were introduced to so many worthy nonprofits in our area doing great work.  The more we learned, the more I wanted to be involved in helping others.

It was at a national meeting of Ignatian Business Chapters that I just happened to sit next to the regional director of IVC Philadelphia. (Was God involved in the seat that I chose?)  He explained IVC to me and had mentioned that both Fr. Malloy, SJ and Msgr. Kelly had approached him about starting a chapter in Scranton.  He also mentioned that it would be very helpful if our community had an older population, a population that was in need and a connection to an Ignatian institution. I said that sounds just like northeastern Pennsylvania.

I came back from that national meeting with a fire to start a chapter in our area. I could see all the good that would come from a spiritual organization that provided love and caring to those in need. We started with a small group of committed individuals, we raised some money from generous foundations, we hired Teddy and here we are several years later with the realization of what that small group dreamed of.

Congratulations to all of us at IVC, we are doing God’s Work.

by Patrick McMahon