Written by Melissa LaNeve, Director of Campus Ministry at Anna Maria College

This past Sunday, July 26th, marked the feast of Saints Anne and Joachim, the grandparents of Jesus. Last Thursday, July 23rd, we celebrated the feast day early with a Mass in gratitude and honor of our college’s patron saint, Anne.

Shortly before getting my job at Anna Maria, I had begun to form a relationship with St. Anne through prayer. I had been told she was a great saint to reach out to if you needed help growing in patience among many other things. At that time in my life, three years ago, I had just graduated with my Master’s degree, and with no job openings in site I was not so patiently waiting to find a job in ministry. I figured it couldn’t hurt to ask for some additional patience. So, on July 17th I began to pray a nine day novena prayer to St. Anne that would end on her feast day, July 26th.

Around the time I began the novena, I saw a posting for the position at Anna Maria in a Facebook group… nowhere else… not even on the school’s website… just on Facebook. After looking into the school and praying over it, I decided to apply. I submitted my application on Thursday, July 20th. I got an email back that day asking me to come in for an interview on the following Monday. On Monday, July 24th I interviewed at the college. I realized during the interview that I would be the only full-time member on the Campus Ministry staff, with my boss being the Director and Chaplain but only working part time. This made me hesitant about whether I really wanted the position or not. It seemed like a lot of work and responsibility for my first full-time ministry job (little did I know that a year later I would become the Director and sole Campus Ministry employee at that time). I kept bringing it back to prayer, especially to St. Anne in the novena. Each day, I grew more and more comfortable with the idea. Then, Thursday, July 27th, one day after St. Anne’s feast day, I got the call offering me the job! I was thrilled because I had been praying to St. Anne for patience and instead she gave me my dream job in a week. Mind you, nothing ever moves this quickly when applying for a job in higher education. (God sure does have a sense of humor!)

I reflect back on this time, and having just finished praying the novena to St. Anne again last week, I can see so many instances of her caring, grandmotherly guidance and love over my life these last three years. St. Anne has truly become one of my favorite saints and greatest confidants and I do not find it ironic at all that the college she led me to work at is under her patroness and protection! My prayer for all of us is to let go of our own timelines and desires, especially during this unprecedented time of uncertainty, and put them in the hands of our Lord, whether through a trusted saint or directly. Let us prove to the Lord that we trust Him over our own limited understanding and vision. Let us allow Him to guide each of us, and this entire college community, to be exactly where He wants us to so that we may do the work of His hands and feet in the most perfect way possible. Who knows, He may just surprise us and give us our dreams sooner than we think.

Thank you, St. Anne for hearing my prayers and for so lovingly bringing them to your daughter and grandson. Please continue to pray for me and Anna Maria College!