Alumni Highlight: Kayla Kessler
“What a beautiful whirlwind the Lord has been taking me on!”
Hi! I’m Kayla Kessler. I was involved with RamCatholic in various capacities my sophomore through senior years of college. I graduated from CSU on May 15, 2015. My kind, holy, wonderful boyfriend, (who was also very involved at RamCatholic- that is actually how we met!) proposed to me on May 29. Then on May 30, my FIANCE and I headed down to Ave Maria University in Florida to spend the month of June getting trained in the New Evangelization and how to be effective campus missionaries. What a beautiful whirlwind the Lord has been taking me on!
I am a missionary for FOCUS (the Fellowship of Catholic University Students) and am serving at the University of California-Irvine, right in the middle of Orange County. Ryan Spor, my soon-to-be husband, is a missionary at San Diego State University. (Yes, I know, tough life- year round beautiful weather and easy access to the ocean). In all actuality, California is a very tough place to be a missionary. Many of the students I meet are very “comfortable.” UC-Irvine is a rigorous school and students are extremely academics-driven. They are “good” with where they are in the faith and it is hard to convince them that they can go deeper. On top of that, the place on campus where we have Mass is a shared space with other faith denominations, called the Interfaith Center.
There is no full-time staff, which I was used to at RamCatholic. There is not a priest who you find walking around the center at all hours of the day, checking in on his students, which I was used to at RamCatholic. There is no 24-hour access to Jesus in the Eucharist, which I was used to at RamCatholic. No Sunday Night Suppers, no Theology on Tap’s, no mentorship program, no regularly-scheduled Confession times. Unfortunately, the students at UCI suffer because of it. Basically, being out here has made me realize that what I had at RamCatholic was a gigantic blessing and not “the norm.”
Because of this realization, I upped my giving to RamCatholic and St. John XXIII. I am so thankful for the gift of all these amazing opportunities and programs that I had at my fingertips, and I didn’t even know I could have been missing if I had gone to another college.
My reconversion to the faith was due in large part to the Holy Spirit working through RamCatholic, and I could not be more thankful for it. I have a job that, despite its challenges, I absolutely love! What an honor it is to introduce, or reintroduce, Jesus Christ and His Church to students who will be the future leaders of this country! I am engaged to an amazing man who leads me closer to Christ every day. Come May 28, I will marry that man, at St. John XXIII in fact! If you would have told freshman-year Kayla Kessler that this would be her life a few years down the road, she never would have believed you. God has blessed me greatly, and I am so excited to see what the next few years bring!