The Rest of God: A Story from the USA

Parishioners worshiping at MQOA Parish. Photo Web/Gregory L. Tracy

“Working with [Father Bob] and learning from him – with Divine Renovation – I think it helped me basically take a load off my shoulders…”

Jacqueline Marie | Mar. 20, 2024

Angela is a parishioner at Mary Queen of the Apostles Parish, in Salem, Massachusetts, USA.

In her early childhood she had already started volunteering with her local parish, a life of service that continued into adulthood. For the last three decades she offered her gifts in the choir, as a lector, as a leader of a prayer group, and with the youth. She says, “I was a leader for many things.”

From all signs, she was the ideal volunteer.

But secretly, she was burned out. Her spiritual life was one of duty and striving. “I thought I had to do so much: doesn’t matter that I was overwhelmed, doesn’t matter that I was losing my mental health, doesn’t matter that I was feeling burn out – this is what you needed to do…this is what God wants from you.”

But five years ago, everything changed. 

Angela Quintin

"Connecting to God is not about you killing yourself."

Father Bob Murray was appointed the new pastor of the amalgamated and bilingual parish of Mary Queen of the Apostles. “He invited me to be part of his leadership team” and she was introduced to Divine Renovation and a different model of leadership and serving. “Working with him and learning from him with Divine Renovation, I think it helped me basically take a load off my shoulders…” She said it was the “first time I got the message.” She heard the good news of the gospel in a new way that resonated deeply. She learned “that connecting to God is not about you killing yourself, not being able to breath, not being able to even pray” but about being in relationship with Jesus and empowered by the Holy Spirit.

Father Bob Murray with a small parishioner. Photo Web.

“I love serving, I love giving but I learned to take in… he [Father Bob] gave us the opportunity to take.” She learned to be an empowered leader who was discipled in her faith.

“My faith has grown so much,” she says.

She began to change the way she served: “I started to pursue just one thing [leading youth]” instead of spreading herself too thin. “I learned how to say, ‘no not right now, I can’t’ –without the guilt.”

Father Bob leads by example, Angela states: “his commitment to discipleship, his commitment to create a missionary church, his commitment to making sure that we are projecting and giving the message of Jesus” shapes her as a leader.

“I watch all of the decisions he makes and all of them are based on projecting that this is a Church that is teaching about Jesus.” She gives examples of Father Bob removing bingo night and an overzealous focus on fundraisers to instead prioritize evangelization. “Seeing how he switched gears, to me, it amazed me.”

“The changes that he implemented [are] working; it took time, but it’s working.”

Father Bob Murray and part of his leadership team at the DR USA '22 Conference. Photo Web.

Angela says that now, Mary Queen of the Apostles Parish is known as a “missionary church who welcomes everyone, it’s a place where you can heal, and you can find peace.” It has been that place for her too, illustrating that parish renewal is so much more than just bringing in people from the outside – it is also the discipling and renewal of those within the walls. 

Angela has been renewed in both her faith and her leadership. She now offers her gifts through the power of the Holy Spirit and is discovering the rest of God.