The passing of a loved one, especially a young 23-year-old with a full life ahead of them is very much a part of the mystery of our Catholic faith. Grief is also very much part of that journey.
There is never a clear-cut comprehensive answer to why a 23-year-old is called to the everlasting life.
So we are left searching for answers.
In the case of Christina, we’ve had time to understand.
We’ve had time to see Christina as a faithful servant of her faith, to witness her academic accomplishments.
We know she was cherished by family, classmates, and friends.
Christina identified these attributes at an early stage of her life and prepared for these gifts, while seeking to nurture and grow them and guide her throughout her short life.
Christina always relied on her faith in life’s challenges and prayed at St. Joan of Arc Chapel and weekly Mass at the Church of the Gesu. There, she served as a Eucharistic Minister and Lector, bringing Scripture to faithful students of Marquette University. She also served at an early age as an altar server or acolyte prior to graduating high school.
Growing up and attending Marquette University was an opportunity to explore how she could develop her academic skills in the healthcare field. She originally was working to be enrolled in the direct program at Marquette as a physician assistant, but her health began to fail and required her to need a double lung transplant. But, all this only slowed her down a bit. She was on a mission. She could no longer pursue a career as a Physician Assistant.
She very much wanted to help other families with critical conditions. After much discussion and research, and with the assistance of academic advisors and mentors, she graduated in 2020 from Marquette University with a double major in Health Science and Psychology.
After completing her degree, she began to plan to attend Grad School. Over the summer, Christina began to have chronic rejection of her transplanted lungs. Unfortunately, her illness progressed and resulted in the end of her life in July 2020.
We never realized how many classmates, friends, teachers, professors, doctors, nurses, neighbors and religious were touched in some way by Christina’s love for others as well as how she personally defined her purpose in life. Twenty-three years is short, but her life and accomplishments were filled with courage, love of family and friends.
To create a tribute to her life, her family and friends have been collecting funds to name a bench in the new Gratitude Garden to be installed as part of the newly restored St. Joan of Arc Chapel in 2021.
What is your life legacy going to be?
Our advice is to seize every opportunity, utilize your God-given talents, and identity what is truly important in your life. Christina did, and she enjoyed everything that made life worth living in service to others. Only by giving and sharing your God-given gifts and setting an example will your life be complete.