The following blog was written by our summer intern, Dan Bost, a senior this year at Creighton University in Omaha.
|Spirit Catholic Radio summer intern Dan Bost|
“I think that the purpose of life is to be useful, to be responsible, to be compassionate. It is, above all, to matter, to count, to stand for something, to have made some difference that you lived at all.”
These words, spoken decades ago by the late academic and author Leo Rosten, provide an accurate description of my state of mind last spring as I struggled to determine what I wanted to do with my summer – the summer before my senior year of college. You see, I have spent all previous summers doing work that provided little more than monetary gain. I have been a typist at a bank, a “runner” for a top-producing realtor, and a “manny” (for those of you unfamiliar with the term, it refers to a male nanny). As I thought about what I wanted to do this summer, I realized that – at the ripe age of 21 – I was standing on the threshold of adulthood. I made the decision, then, that I should do something that would not only cultivate the growth of my academic interests, but also cater to my still-developing spirituality. I became resolved to find a summer position that would enable me to be useful to both myself and others, to make some sort of difference.
As a student who studies both English and theology, I had recently discovered that writing about matters of faith and theological issues is one of my favorite things to do. In a recent church history course, I wrote a research paper about the influence of the late Joseph Cardinal Bernardin, Archbishop of Chicago from 1982-1996. I discussed his life as the shepherd of the third-largest archdiocese in the United States, his determination to implement the directives of the Second Vatican Council, and the many reform initiatives he enacted in a broken archdiocese. And I loved it. I got a good grade. I was proud of myself.
Thus, I e-mailed the paper to The Catholic Voice, which is the bi-weekly local Catholic newspaper for the Archdiocese of Omaha. I asked them to read my paper as an example of my writing style and to consider me for a summer internship or freelance position. Unfortunately, the publication did not have any opportunities for me – but they did advise me to contact Spirit Catholic Radio. For this referral I will remain forever grateful.
I contacted the volunteer coordinator at Spirit Catholic Radio, who invited me to come in for an informal interview and discussion. She explained that, at the station, there is a little bit of something for everyone. I could simply file and organize, if I wanted to. Or, if I wanted to do something I was really interested in, I could use the volunteer service as an internship of sorts. My time at the station could become an opportunity for me to hone my writing skills; Spirit Catholic Radio could be a place wherein I could uncover, study and become involved with the intersection of theological issues and the written word. After I filled out an application and spoke with the employees I would be working for, my stint as an intern at Spirit Catholic Radio commenced.
My main obligation would be writing news stories about Catholic issues and incidents that would be read on the air. I would also write questions and answers for a radio segment titled “Why Do Catholics Do That?” Additionally, while I was writing, I would perform a few more mundane tasks like converting tapes to digital form, making copies of segments that listeners had requested, and organizing folders – all of which I was more than happy to do. Each and every day, my superiors asked me if I was interested in what I was supposed to do. Was I willing to do a said task? Did it interest me? Was it what I wanted? The people I met could not have been more caring, kind or thoughtful – always trying to make sure I was pleased and contented. I have never worked for such grace-filled individuals before, and their generous, faithful attitudes toward me have made all the difference.
Even though the work I did was undoubtedly meaningful and helpful in fostering the process of my academic and spiritual growth, I soon reached the conclusion that the lasting effects of my summer internship would have little to do with my plethora of writings. Rather, what I will remember in coming years is the people I worked with. Every day I walked in, I was greeted with a smile. Working amongst a community of like-minded individuals was a new type of experience for me. There are virtually no disagreements among employees; their sense of camaraderie is contagious. There are none of those stereotypical office rifts and rivalries. Towards the beginning of my tenure at Spirit Catholic Radio, I was invited to begin the day with Mass and a blessing of the offices. With this event, I realized that here, because of the unwavering faith of all of the employees – their determination to let the Holy Spirit influence all of their work and how they treat each other – the type of work environment is different. It is counter-cultural, but in a good way. The Holy Spirit has placed a desire in the heart of each staff member of Spirit Catholic Radio; guided by His grace, they set out in solidarity to spread the Good News, to change the world one broadcast at a time.
In conclusion, as my time here culminates, I wish to urge any coming-of-age Catholic, male or female, to pursue a volunteer position at Spirit Catholic Radio. I guarantee you will not regret it. My summer internship, like most, was unpaid. But that does not bother me – not in the least. Because even though I did not get a paycheck, I received some of the greatest gifts I could have ever asked for. I learned about the impact of Catholic radio in listeners’ lives. I developed my writing skills. I practiced my faith within the work environment, which is something not a lot of people can say. And perhaps most important, I met some people I will never forget. I set out last spring to find a meaningful summer work environment that would enable me to matter, to count, to stand for something. And I did.