Intentional Disciple: SPCHS Class of 2018 Alumna Julia Bruffey

What is an Intentional Disciple? An Intentional Disciple is someone who not only listens and learns, but one who chooses to follow the teacher and apply what they are taught. While Baptism and other sacraments give us grace, and we encounter Jesus in the Mass, it is through a process of intentionally committing ourselves to follow Him as our teacher, that faith becomes vital, dynamic, and life-giving. We must encounter Jesus and choose to follow Him.

Literally every pope and every saint of the past fifty years has said such Intentional Discipleship is key for countering the great evils of our modern age and transforming the world for Christ as Vatican II challenges us to do.

The first step toward Intentional Discipleship is to encounter Jesus.

Pope Francis said it beautifully in Evangelii Gaudium, The Joy of the Gospel: “I invite all Christians, everywhere, at this very moment, to a renewed personal encounter with Jesus Christ, or at least an openness to letting him encounter them; I ask all of you to do this unfailingly each day. No one should think that this invitation is not meant for him or her, since ‘no one is excluded from the joy brought by the Lord.’”

(Evangelii Gaudium, Joy of the Gospel, paragraph 3.)

Encountering Jesus is just the beginning. Next we must choose to follow. This is usually not a simple matter. Rich, filled-with-joy faith comes from a journey. The process often begins with an encounter with at least one joyful Christian. A human, personal relationship begins the Intentional Disciple process. Because this Christian (or preferably this community of Christians) is clearly joyful and in relationship with God, a curiosity about their relationship with God is created. This curiosity leads to openness and seeking. Personal relationship leads naturally toward seeking the joyful faith that is seen.

St. Patrick Catholic High School strives to build up Intentional Disciples and to send them on their way into the world to preach what they have learned. Faculty and staff give their students all the knowledge and resources necessary to say “yes” to following Jesus.

The School’s mission is as follows: Educating Scholars, Training Disciples, Supporting Champions. But, the faculty and staff do not just preach their missions, it shows through alumni also. Alumna Julia Bruffey is just one example of the many Intentional Disciples that have graduated from St. Patrick. She attends weekly Mass and Adoration to keep her relationship with Jesus strong, and she occasionally volunteers in her college community to help others. Julia is a member of many Catholic youth organizations on the college campus, as well as AOII sorority, where she takes part in many service projects within the club. With daily prayer and meditation, she has come to realize that this is the best way of life for her.

Julia commented, “St. Patrick instilled a firm Catholic foundation during my six years in attendance. I learned that through Jesus, anything is possible, and every day that belief just becomes stronger. With each volunteer opportunity that comes my way, I truly see how blessed I have been to receive the life and education I did.”

Story by Emma Bruffey