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Introducing Mari Snyder: What Matters to Me

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Editor’s Note: Overseas Lay Missioner in formation, Mari Snyder, reflects on what matters most to her.


What matters to me … 

is that I have a meaningful life purpose. According to the “Book of Twain,” the two most important days in your life are the day you’re born and the day you discover why. While I’ve long envied those who have one or two big goals they’ve been seemingly born into and building on for years, I’ve begun embracing the new ones God sends my way every few years. My new path forward – “the way in which I should walk” (Ps 143:8) — has been revealed …

My time in mission is what matters to me now, and for the future, as I know it will change my very constitution. My new purpose is to accompany — to provide a ministry of presence — to my new community and to be an advocate for the meaningfulness of each person. Their purpose will be my purpose, too. 

What matters to me … 

is that I build faith, hope and love. For me, hope has always been “out front” … I walk toward it, trusting it’ll be there as promised, but hope isn’t as known as love and faith, and it rarely materializes as I envision it. Now I need to embody it.   

What matters to me … 

is to be true and authentic to who I am and the values I stand for, that I give voice to them so others will have open ears for the issues at hand. I’m here to represent my life’s lessons, so others — especially the young adults in my circle — have an arms-length example of what to do and how to be when things don’t go according to plan, when there’s crushing grief.

What matters to me … 

is that I cherish the tingles this stunning, achingly beautiful planet and the invisible sacred give me.  I know what it feels like to be accompanied by beloveds here on earth and those in heaven, still. 

What matters to me …

is that the three of them know that I loved them from the moment I met them … and I always will. What a trio!

I will trust that “when he set his face to go …” he was protecting me, us, perhaps telling me he knew because he was that strong, kind and gentle. That he absolutely knew to tell me, that He called us both. “You are my child, follow my path.” I heard it, too, for you, for me …

Restless and ready, I will …  

Reflection: Have you ever felt “restless and ready” for a new calling? 

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Mari Snyder, an Overseas Lay Missioner in formation, was introduced to the Franciscan charism that deepened her Catholic faith during her college years at St. Bonaventure University and Mt. Irenaeus Franciscan Mountain Community in Western New York. A native of Scranton, Pa., Mari has lived and worked in the Washington D.C. and suburban Maryland area for more than twenty years. She began her career in sales and public relations, which grew to a global leadership role in corporate social responsibility with a focus on human trafficking prevention, sustainability, and youth employability. Most recently, Mari was in leadership with a small, dynamic nonprofit where she launched an economic empowerment program and worked directly with human trafficking survivors. She currently serves with FMS as a missioner on the US-Mexico border.