A young Catholic combines her talents in unique outreach
A Sydney exercise physiologist has launched a YouTube channel to encourage and accompany other Catholic millennials to live their faith.
Theresa says the inspiration to launch the Run with TC channel comes from Mother Angelica, who founded the US Catholic media juggernaut EWTN. And she wants to apply all her skills in coaching people along the path to physical health, to the spiritual journey in the Catholic Church.
“I’m definitely not a theologian or a philosopher, I’m just your average gal who wants to cheer you on and welcome you to your ultimate home ground,” Theresa explains in her video introduction.
The 25-year-old high-energy, outdoors-loving millennial will take viewers virtually along with her on hiking and camping trips, attending Mass, and doing everyday activities as well as introduce them to other Catholics who will also share about their life and faith.
She told The Catholic Weekly that she hopes in a small way to provide a bridge for people who may be curious about the Catholic faith and what it is like to participate in church life.
“It’s a big step for someone to walk into a church and say ‘Oh what’s happening here?’,” she said. “But if they can watch a video and go ‘Oh that’s not what I expected or thought’ it’s like a bridge for them to find that there are regular people who are living their lives as practising Catholics.
“I just want to show people that there’s a possibility that they can live out their faith authentically but also be kind of normal and relatable.
“I just want to show people that there’s a possibility that they can live out their faith authentically but also be kind of normal and relatable.”
“My sister and I didn’t really grow up in ‘Catholic bubble’ circles and I have such a heart for all my mates from school, but I don’t feel like you really get an opportunity to share stuff about the faith with people just because it’s hard to sometimes when people have pre-conceived views of what a life of faith looks like, but watching a video can be a softer approach.”
Theresa said a pilgrimage to World Youth Day in 2011 with the Archdiocese of Sydney with her older sister as a public school student was a deeply spiritual experience and sparked a desire for both of them to learn more about their faith.
Since attending a FOCUS conference in Chicago in 2018 Theresa has felt on fire to share it more with others, but didn’t see a point in doing it online until the COVID-19 lockdown earlier this year.
“Now I think it definitely makes sense as a way to reach people because there’s not really anything like this anywhere on social media,” she said.
“Obviously you can’t replace that contact with someone in person, but everyone is everywhere on social media and I just want to be that presence there of a relatively normal person living out their faith, and then introducing them to other people in the Church in the same way you’d introduce people to a friend,” she added.