Ohio, Here I Come!

With the Mission Leader assignments complete, SPO Ohio is looking forward to a year with returning and new team members! We are happy to have OSU Mission Leaders Brent Diller and Terry Cahalan and former OSU now WVU Mission Leader, Jillian Barrick serving for a second year with the SPO Ohio branch. We also welcome first year Mission Leaders Matt Jones, who will server at WVU, and new OSU Mission Leaders Lilvia Gomez and Ryan O’Shaughnessy. Below is a post from Ryan reflecting on what he hopes the year will bring.I’m Ryan O’Shaughnessy, and I’m going to be a first-year Mission Leader at the Ohio State University this coming year (I don’t know why people say ‘the,’ but I’ll roll with it).

Ryan O
Ryan O

 I just graduated from the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, MN with a major in Physics and a minor in Catholic Studies. I came into college as a Protestant-raised former atheist turned agnostic hoping to be a Physics professor, yet I’m leaving as a Catholic missionary. It’s safe to say God has been up to something with my life over the past few years.

As I prepare to leave my home in Minnesota and ship out for Ohio this August, a number of people have asked me what my thoughts are on leaving home to take part in this great work. “Pumped” is one word I’ve often used. Before receiving my assignment I was more-or-less detached from any one place, but in hearing about the exciting things God is doing in Ohio (not to mention the awesome staff), now I can’t wait to get out there. I’ll be leading one of the Men’s Households, which will allow me to hearken back to the good ol’ days as an RA at St. Thomas. I’d like to think that the men I’ll be living with would be a little less “rambunctious” than the freshmen I had, but that’s all part of the fun anyways.

MN Men Singing to MN Women House
MN Men Singing to MN Women House

Along with the excitement, I know the next couple of years are going to stretch me. For the past four years I’ve been able to live out my faith in relative comfort, being that I went to a small, private Catholic school where Catholicism was always “in the air” so-to-speak. That said, Ohio State is going to be a culture shock for me as a large, public university where almost anything goes. That, and I’ve never been too crazy about school spirit or football. But, if I’ve learned anything,  I know with God’s grace I will come to love it. So here goes… GO BUCKEYES! Looking forward to arriving in August!

-submitted by OSU Mission Leader, Ryan O’Shaughnessy