TEC AND VOCATIONS
...To Married Life
Billy and Sara's Excellent Adventure
In 2002, we met on New Orleans TEC #82. Billy, a New Orleans native, had been involved with TEC since college. Sara was a grad student from Pensacola, Fla. and had been invited by friends to make the three-hour journey for a weekend with strangers. After that TEC weekend, friendship, dates, more retreats Hurricane Katrina and marriage eventually followed.
In the summer of 2006, after a half-year of marriage, we traveled all the way to Owensboro, Ky. for the TEC Congress (picture above). What we found there was a family, overflowing encouragement, and a wealth of exciting ideas. Coming on the heels of Hurricane Katrina, the experience of being embraced (figuratively and actually) by so many new friends was comforting at a time when comfort was lacking.
The Congress itself was amazing! We purposefully sat at different tables each time a new segment began so that we would have a chance to meet as many people from around the country as possible. In our conversations, we found our experience at TEC New Orleans was both similar and unique. The way TEC has touched people’s lives; the blessings and struggles of community life and ministry seemed to extend beyond geography. We also learned that some of our TEC center’s strengths were other’s weaknesses, and vice-versa. We came home with a list of fantastic ideas to strengthen this ministry, which is so dear to us.
Monthly gatherings for our local TEC community, a mere idea when we traveled to the TEC Congress, became a reality for our TEC community because of some of the ideas we brought back. Plus, our new TEC friends from across the country have become a network of co-ministers. We have called upon them for ideas and resources several times, and performed this service in return. We look forward to reconnecting with this same family at the Congress each year. We pray that an even greater number than last year will gather in the same spirit of open sharing and feel the energy and support of the greater TEC Family.
~ By Billy & Sara O'Regan (New Orleans, La. TEC Community.)
Billy now serves as the Executive Director of the TEC Conference
Called To Bring Young People to Christ
We originally became involved with the TEC Movement in 1981, after attending both a Marriage Encounterweekend and a Cursillo. Both of those faith experiences led to our participation in TEC, which in turn inspired us to serve our parish and community in a variety of ways. For example, we said yes to the call to be foster parents, besides raising our own four children. Our children also have attended both TEC and Cursillo weekends. Most recently, we have been involved in leading the wheat or service teams for several of our Northwest TEC weekends. We have enjoyed the interaction with the teens in our TEC community, and have been delighted with their willingness to serve and pray for their friends as they experience TEC.
One young wheat team member had no church background before he made his first TEC weekend. He was so touched by what he witnessed at TEC, that he decided on his own to join the RCIA class at his local Catholic parish. It was our privilege to help him, through the wheat team experience, to deepen his desire to learn more about the Lord and the Church. Another young girl–on that same team–was also without a church and has since left for college. We recently received an email from her in which she shared that she has been attending the Newman Center at her university and loves it. When God calls us to lead a TEC wheat team, we try very hard to make it a faith-affirming weekend for everyone involved. Our TEC and wheat team experiences have helped us to realize that Christ is definitely working among our young people in extraordinary ways. We truly believe that God is good all the time!
~ Bob & Ginny Pettit, Geneseo, Ill. (Northwest TEC Community, Diocese of Peoria, Ill.)
God Helped Two TECites Find True Love
"From every human being, there rises a light that reaches straight to Heaven,
and when two souls that are destined to be together find each other, the streams
of light flow together and a single brighter light goes forth from that
united being." ~ Ba'al Shem Tor
It is amazing how God works! It was February of my senior year of high school and I was going on TEC. I was both excited and scared to death. One of the first people I met was Ken Huxel, my table’s resource for the weekend and now my husband for life. I remember wondering how old he was and if he had a girlfriend, but luckily God gave me a lot more than just a dream about a boy. That weekend was the beginning of my adult faith life. Finally, I felt I had a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. Ken and I stayed friends after my first TEC. Mostly we saw each other at our weekly Wednesday night prayer meetings and at other TEC events.
Two years later, as we were leaving one of our prayer nights, he asked me out. It was the first date either of us had ever been on. Three years later, Ken took me back to Immaculate Conception Parish in Augusta, Mo., where we hold our local TEC weekends.
He had been teasing me for quite a while about when he was going to ask me to marry him. So, when we got to Augusta, Ken said he was bringing me there to make we wonder a little more. We walked around and sat by the lake. All the while, he teased me about maybe he was going to ask me, but then he didn't. When we were ready to leave, we got up to go to the car and he said he had another question, “Are you ready to go?” I told him he was being mean. But, as we were walking between the wheat house and the school that serves as our TEC center, Ken suddenly got down on one knee and said: “When we met, you became a part of my life. When we started dating, you became my life. Now I want you to be my wife.” We were both crying and laughing and hugging each other. Then we went into the little country parish and recited the words to the song “Companions on the Journey” together which we played at our wedding. Then we knelt in front of the altar and prayed the Our Father. It was the perfect ending to a perfect proposal and to this day, it still makes family and friends gag at the sweetness of the whole story.
We believe that the love we share is grounded not only in the trust and friendship between us, but also in our mutual faith in God. When we each went on our first TEC weekends, we didn’t know what we were missing until God showed Himself to each of us. That encounter remains the basis of the life we share. Ken and I were married Dec. 7, 2002, at my home parish, also named Immaculate Conception, in Union, Mo. Both Ken and I know that on that day we entered into a covenant with God that will never be broken. We believe our love story—from our friendship and courtship to our wedding and beyond—was written by God.
~ Ken & Teresa Huxel, Union, Mo. (Spirit of St. Louis TEC, Archdiocese of St. Louis, Mo.)
...To Family Life
Brett & Brian Mathiowetz
Hi, my name is Brian. I have been involved in TEC for 26 years. Hi, I’m Brett, and Brian is my dad. I have been involved in TEC for 10 years. Throughout our relationship, we have always been open to experiences that help us grow as individuals, but also grow together. TEC has given us an opportunity to get to know God on an individual basis, and to share that experience with each other. It also gives us an opportunity to minister to others as father and son. One example of this was our opportunity to be co-lay directors a year ago for a TEC weekend. To lead as father and son was extraordinary both for us and for the young people at the TEC.
On a day to day basis, we find ourselves working with each other in our family business. It can be hard to separate work from our personal lives away from work. The passion needed in business can sometimes consume us as we concentrate on what we need to do next for the company. TEC has given us a great chance to get together and leave behind all of the stresses and demands in order to enjoy each other for who we are. It has been a great way for us to strengthen the foundation of our relationship, and allowed us to come to know and respect each other in ways that may never have been realized without our shared experience of TEC.
An example of TEC touching us would be when we worked together shortly after the death of our father/grandfather. We spent that TEC weekend in prayer for healing and growth in our relationship. It brought us together in a way, that at the time was hard to describe. We became closer and acted as a healing element to each other with the guidance of the Spirit.
Our faith journey has been enriched as TEC has challenged us to get involved in our parish and community. Music ministry at mass, reaching out to those in need, consoling those in despair, Christian Clown ministry, and setting Christian example in the work place, are all direct results of our TEC inspired faith in action.
We know that the Lord is calling each of us to bring our faith into action. We, as father and son, are blessed to be able to do that together. It is special. It is special, maybe because that is how our faith was handed to all of us…by a Father and his Son.
Brian serves as the chairman of the TEC Conference Leadership Council