Members of the Freymann family have devoted their lives to service, so when their youngest daughter, Catherine, entered high school at Mount de Sales Academy in Catonsville last September, there wasn’t a question of her serving in a leadership missionary position. The question was when and how she’d serve.
Catherine Freymann and her siblings grew up in the Leadership Training Program (LTP), a youth club of Regnum Christi, a worldwide community of missionaries whose motto is “Thy Kingdom Come,” and whose mission is to bring Christ and his kingdom into people’s lives.
As she prepared for the sacrament of confirmation at her parish, St. John the Evangelist, Catherine felt drawn to St. John Paul II and chose him to be her patron saint. Shortly after choosing St. John Paul II to guide and intercede for her, an invitation to serve as a missionary in Poland, the birthplace of the former pope, came from Encounters, Convictions and your Decisions (ECyD), an initiative of Regnum Christi, whose members staff the LTP. Catherine believed the collision of her confirmation saint devotion and her opportunity to be a missionary in the country of his birth was anything but a coincidence.
“I was super excited to learn that I would be going to St. John Paul’s hometown!” Catherine exclaimed.
St. John Paul II, the 264th pope of the Catholic Church, was born in Wadowice, Poland, approximately 30 miles southwest of Kraków, where Catherine served last June 28 through July 28. There, she was a missionary leader in overnight camps and day camps, and she explored historical and religious sites, many of which were closely tied to the former pontiff.
She and a friend from Virginia were the only two Americans in their group of seven missionaries and two consecrated women who served as guardians for the month-long trip. Other members in Catherine’s group were from Guatemala, Mexico and Spain, and all spoke Spanish; their Polish hosts spoke limited English.
“That was a little challenging at first, but through prayer, song and worship, (the language barrier) got a lot easier,” Catherine said. “It was really beautiful to hear different languages all around me and know that God was with us. There are no barriers for God.”
As a missionary, Freymann helped to plan camp activities and coordinate all logistics, but most importantly, she said, was to simply be with the girls as an example as sisters in Christ.
“To make the world a better place, a missionary doesn’t have to go to faraway places or do really big things,” Catherine explained. “We need to live holy, be an example of God and let him work through you. I can change the world every day.”
Freymann said the Polish girls she met liked her “accent” and asked many questions about life in the U.S., like about school and food, including American-style pancakes, which Catherine prepared for one breakfast.
Though just a sophomore, Catherine is leaning toward a career in education. She hopes to take a gap year after her high school graduation to be a yearlong missionary with Regnum Christi. She currently volunteers with Giving Back: Living Legacy, LTP, and events at Mount de Sales.
“I cannot imagine my life without volunteering or evangelizing,” Catherine said. “I think if there is any way you can spread God’s love, you should.”
Catherine received a plaque of recognition from Regnum Christi for her summer of service in Poland.
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