This is Our Faith
  • Smaller Small Medium Big Bigger
  • Default Helvetica Segoe Georgia Times

I had a great career in fashion. I earned my Bachelors of Fine Arts degree in 2013 and another spent five years working in the industry. I worked so hard to make a name for myself, but I always found an emptiness inside. Making clothes wasn’t changing the world or helping people. The life I had planned for myself was not working out, so I made the decision to “never settle” and it quickly became my life motto. In 2017, I had converted back to Catholicism and experienced a “true conversion,” I started volunteering as a catechist, gave talks at Confirmation retreats, and just really gave back to the youth. Soon after, I really felt convicted to give my entire life to God (my “never settle” mentality), career and all. So in 2018, I got the inspiration to apply for a Youth Minister position at Holy Spirit Parish in Hemet. I had very little experience, but Father Michael Onwuemelie, C.S.Sp., Pastor, along with parish staff members Norma and Josie believed in me and gave me a chance. That’s what happens, God will open doors when you least expect it, but his timing is always perfect. I loved this transition period as I was newly engaged and getting to work directly with the youth. I got married in June 2019 and shortly after, an opportunity popped up at my home parish, St. Christopher in Moreno Valley. In July 2019, I became a First Communion Coordinator for grades 1-6. I never imagined that I would be working with much younger kids, but I really found that’s where my passion for teaching really took off.

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, everything changed. I found out the fashion company I previously worked for was dissolved and closed down (definitely God’s providential care). Also, I didn’t know if I was going to still have a job at the parish. Mass attendance was at an all-time low, our Faith Formation programs had a mere fraction of the people they used to have. Overall, this truly was a difficult and unprecedented time for the Church. The Faith Formation department came together, and we provided the best programs we could. While we all were teaching Catechism through Zoom, I wanted to do more (here’s me doing the “never settle” thing again). I figured this was the ideal time to start over and really rethink the way Catechism was being done. So, I brainstormed– the truth is, the younger generations grew up with technology and I wanted to meet the children where they were.

I’ve always been musically inclined, creative, and tech-savvy. I’ve spent most of my life singing and writing songs. Then, it hit me– my “call within a call” (as St. Teresa of Calcutta famously said). I was going to start a YouTube channel called Christine In Action! I wrote my first song (Good Morning Offering) and the rest was history. The Holy Spirit kept the song inspiration flowing, and I kept improving with each video. Before I knew it, I had thousands of views and subscribers. I was pregnant during this first year of being on YouTube, but that didn’t stop me! I had the time of my life fusing my love for music and songwriting with my love for Catechesis.

One of my friends, Sam Estrada, is a Catholic Comic Artist and has been very supportive of my online ministry. He connected me with FORMED. I reached out to his connection via email and introduced myself. Soon after, I received an email directly from Dr. Ben Akers, the Chief Content Officer at FORMED. I was shocked when I read, “My kids have been listening to you for a while, I just found out from my wife!” (Gotta love the power of the Internet!) Later, I met the FORMED team via Zoom, and before I knew it, all of my Volume 1 songs were available on the platform.

This all started because I made the decision to give my life to God, and it was the best decision I have ever made. My intention was to help the children in my Catechetical program at St. Christopher. I never imagined my songs would help all kinds of people all over the world. God will use us, exactly who we are, to impact the world. Becoming God’s literal instrument has changed my life completely. What matters most is our willingness to act and respond to His Grace. St. Francis Assisi said, “Start by doing what’s necessary; then do what’s possible; and suddenly you are doing the impossible.” My advice? Trust in God. Choose God. His plan is the absolute BEST. Please keep me in your prayers. For the Greater Glory of GOD!

Christine Merriman is the Parish Records/ Bulletin/ Social Media coordinator at St. Christopher Church in Moreno Valley.