CATHOLIC FINISH STRONG

     I thought it best to archive the first blog before it disappears forever!  This will give any reader a good idea of how and why CATHOLIC FINISH STRONG was created.  It was originally posted July 16th 2012 by Julie Onderko.

       This is my first blog entry…ever. Really this whole technology thing that I have needed to embrace since beginning this apostolate has done at least one good thing for me—I have grown a ton of brain cells! So when I tell you this is my first, it really is. This is new territory along with creating a website and a host of other technological skills I am learning these days.
     Before going further, a brief bio is in order. Married young at 18 and still married 33 years later. My husband Tom and I have three sons and four grandchildren. I am a temporarily professed member of the  Dominican Laity. I finally earned my bachelor’s degree in theology in 2012 and I am currently enrolled in the Masters of Theology program at the Augustine Institute. There’s a whole lot more and I am sure it will surface piecemeal over time.
     So how did CATHOLIC FINISH STRONG come about? I think I’ve been “in formation” for most of my life; accumulating experiences and skill sets specifically for this. I won’t list them here but they are a varied and during my life did not seem to “fit” together but now…it’s making more sense. 
     In the Spring of 2010, my husband and I, along with two of our sons, took some time out of the busyness of life and stayed at a friend’s ranch in Spray: a secluded Eastern Oregon town, population—140. We took care of the cattle (it was calving season, very exciting) while our friends were away.  
     While in prayer, I received what I believe was an inspiration from God. Understanding and ideas flowed around my mind…The world is strategizing the downfall of many...Will you confront the evil which seeks to snatch souls at the 11th hour?...I am sending others for this work also….together ignite a fire that will burn and spread and thwart this planned loss of so many souls…I could see a great harvest of souls, nurtured and cajoled over decades away from Christ and into the enemy’s camp! It is all so incremental and over time often goes unnoticed.  
     Of course this would take a lot of discernment. Was it all my imagination? Was the evil one behind this? Is it a trap? Is it really from God? Praying, pondering, and seeking wise counsel: that is what I did for the 2 ½ years leading up to the creation of this apostolate. (And continue to do!)
      During the month of May 2012, I got the go aheads! Yes plural. There were many confirmations that it was time to move forward: from my spiritual director to a friend at Mass who did not know what I was pondering. "Go, start, NOW, begin;" it was so…over-the-top that when I would see my husband he’d ask, “What happened today?” expecting yet another confirmation. 
     So here we are and there’s so much to do! The groundwork spiritually and practically is being set and that foundation—I think—will take the most time. There’s a consecration to do, approval from the bishop to receive, spiritual direction for the apostolate to be secured, the setting up of a working/interactive website to get done, establishment of a non-profit organization to establish, assembling the team for writing, videos, blogging, teaching, technology, and business building. Well, Rome wasn’t built in a day.
     If you are interested, visit the About Us page. The vision is there. Pray and discern about joining this apostolate and maybe together God will use us to….thwart this planned loss of so many souls.