Donor Spotlight | Nurturing Community in Joyful Hope
“....Draw us into diverse and complimentary community. Help us to be prophetic witnesses of faithful obedience and joyful hope….”
These lines from the Eden Invitation prayer speak to the heart of Christian discipleship– we need community to form and support striving disciples. Brian and Katrina Petro, supporters of Eden Invitation, have experienced this thriving in community through their own discipleship journeys.
“We are both cradle Catholics who encountered Jesus in our teenage or early-college years” Katrina shared. “We were both strongly affected by the experience of living and praying in community…. Brian spent several years in seminary discerning the priesthood, and I discerned consecrated life in the early post-college years. As the fruit of those years, our marriage is strongly grounded on the desire for sanctity and the impulse to be outward facing and mission-focused.”
Though life is busy between work and raising their two-year-old son, Brian and Katrina prioritize nurturing a space for community in their home: “We both enjoy hosting, the smell of a campfire, and quality time with friends and family.” They also see the importance of being an active participant in the broader mission of the Church to spread the Gospel. “Jesus is the answer to the longing of every human heart, period. This truth needs to be known by every person on the face of the earth” Brian shared.
It was in their support of others, especially those on mission, that they encountered Eden Invitation. Katrina recalled seeing the blog when it was still new, “I remember crying as I read through the content because I had never seen anything like it and it was SO good and full of the richness of the Church.” Brian learned of our mission and community through a friend; “...it was the answer to the prayer of a close brother. Jesus had been encouraging him in prayer to trust that He was preparing a way for him. He did not disappoint!”
Katrina admitted she was initially challenged by our value Joyful Hope, “...it is easy to be discouraged in the context of our modern world.” It prompted deeper reflection on her own journey with God: “Often I experience Hope as an act of trust that God will fulfill me, and everyone, as He promised.”
Brian added that he is deeply encouraged by the mission of Eden Invitation in his own life, “...it is a rock solid affirmation of the human person. When I first read the blog posts, it was clear that this was a fruit of deep, abiding prayer that speaks truth to every disciple. What continues to inspire me is how good Jesus is in answering the desire of so many longing hearts!”
“Good community is really healing.” Katrina continued, “I know Eden Invitation is extraordinarily careful about cultivating authenticity within shared life, and also adhering to the truth of the Church’s teaching on the human person. There are precious few places where LGBTQ+ disciples can explore the challenges that come with this particular life experience, and Eden Invitation provides a really beautiful space to do that.”
“We’ve supported other missionaries over the years, but this was the first time I encountered the reality that this was a mission I literally could not do. I just don’t have the lived experience.” Katrina shared. Rather than be discouraged by their lack of experience, Brian and Katrina decided to become monthly mission partners. Their support, and the support of all of our donors and mission partners, ensures that we can both keep our programs affordable and accessible to participants as well as give us the stability needed to grow our outreach and community.
“The hearts of our LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters– this is where the Church needs to be,” Brian emphasized. “I believe that Eden Invitation is one of the most important movements in this age of the Church. I’m honored to be able to support you!”