“I’m going to do it.”

That’s what I told my mom on the phone when I finally decided to leave my secular marketing career to work for the Church.

Months of discernment had built up to this moment. The thought was both intriguing and intimidating, an adventure and a risk.

Would I regret such a big career move? Would I find working for the Church professionally challenging, not just spiritually fulfilling? These are just some of the questions and concerns that had me churning.

I don’t take any life-changing decisions lightly, and this was one that wouldn’t just pivot my career path, but also uproot my personal life. It would move me across the country (and then back again).

First from my job at Uber in Washington, D.C. to California to work for the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. Then from California to Michigan, where I now work for the Archdiocese of Detroit.

To this day, I don’t quite know what convinced me. But in that moment, with my mom on the phone, my mind was made up. I felt an unshakeable sense of peace. Through all the highs and lows of the transition, that peace stuck with me.

Here’s a bit about what I experienced and learned in the process:

The Discernment

I always hoped I could work for the Church one day in some capacity. I’d had a few freelance gigs for faith-based projects, including going to World Youth Day in Kraków, Poland as a reporter. I loved how it elevated the meaning of my work with a higher purpose.

But I knew that I wanted to be confident in my professional training and experience if I were to move into a full-time role within the Church. That way, I could make an impact. And it had to be the right fit – I rarely heard of teams or roles that merged Catholicism and marketing.

“I knew that I wanted to be confident in my professional training and experience if I were to move into a full-time role within the Church. That way, I could make an impact. And it had to be the right fit.”

Until I learned about the communications team at the Archdiocese of Los Angeles. And later, the team and mission to “unleash the Gospel” at the Archdiocese of Detroit.

I was working in marketing at Uber and was starting to get restless and ready to move on. A friend in Los Angeles reached out to me; she was helping the Archdiocese of Los Angeles with recruitment. I was immediately intrigued.

And so began a series of calls, video chats, and in-person meetings with the team.

I’m almost embarrassed about how long it took me to discern, but I wasn’t idle. I had serious conversations with my manager about growth, interviewed with other companies, had many calls with the Archdiocesan leadership, and even visited to meet the team.

Before Uber, I had worked at two digital marketing agencies in Boston – focusing on digital advertising and content marketing. The role at the Archdiocese of Los Angeles seemed to merge all of my experience into a single role, with more leadership responsibilities. In Detroit, my new role presents even more chances for growth as a manager and marketer.

Both roles have offered unique opportunities to work with talented marketers who recognize the need for evangelization through modern media and marketing. When I really thought about the universal call to holiness, I realized I could best live it in service of the Church.

The Sacrifice

These roles brought me new and exciting experiences, but not without sacrifices. Moving far away from my family and friends, turning away from a career path I had worked so hard for, and leaving behind the glamor and perks of corporate life – would it all be worth it?

Then I began to reflect on service.

Was I being called to this team, not just as a job, but as a vocation? Did God want me to serve Him in this way? Maybe my successes and career so far were all preparation for this. I was confident in my skills and knew I could contribute in a significant way.

“What makes me sincerely happy? What did I really want for my life and future, besides my career? What would be best for my soul? Where will I be able to become the best version of myself?”

I put aside the shiny distractions, and I asked deeper questions: What makes me sincerely happy? What did I really want for my life and future, besides my career? What would be best for my soul? Where will I be able to become the best version of myself?

And I had peace that I would find the answers working for the Church.

The Reward

I’m happy to share that the all the discernment and sacrifices were worth it. The transition was not easy – I won’t sugarcoat it! I had my fair share of doubts, struggles, even tears, but through the chaos of moving and the adjustments at work, I still had that peace.

The biggest concerns I had were disproved. I’ve grown and learned more than I ever expected, as a marketer, a leader, and a Catholic. My life and work has been enriched by my teammates, who inspire and challenge me in faith and through our projects.

The people and the mission keep me going.

And there have been surprising gifts. Merging my expertise and my faith has completely invigorated my creativity. Placing my skills in the hands of God, and applying them to evangelization, sparks my imagination and fuels my passion. My life and work has been enriched by my teammates, both in Los Angeles and Detroit, who inspire and challenge me through their faith and our projects.

“Each of us are given a unique mission and vocation by God. We just have to be open to receive it.”

Just to be clear, you absolutely can serve God through secular work. Any type of work and workplace can be sanctified through you – and can help sanctify you. Each of us are given a unique mission and vocation by God. We just have to be open to receive it.

I don’t know what the future holds for my career, but this is where I belong now.

God is the greatest boss.

Christine Warner, GIVEN ’16

Christine Warner is a digital marketer, content strategist, and freelance writer based in Detroit, Michigan. Currently working for the Archdiocese of Detroit, she has brand, agency, and non-profit marketing experience with diverse brands and organizations. Christine is passionate about using creative channels to communicate the beauty of the feminine genius and
the Catholic faith.