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Great Starts: Grace Brick ’21
Portrait of student Grace Brick

Great Starts: Grace Brick ’21

From time to time, we like to showcase a new SNC grad who’s entered the workplace or grad school. Success stories like these are pretty common. In fact, 95 percent of SNC's Class of 2022 alumni who responded to a survey said they were employed, in grad school or doing service work within nine months of graduating.

Hometown: St. Paul, Minn.
Graduation year: 2021
Degree: Theology and Religious Studies
Plans after graduation: Director of Faith Formation at St. Edward Catholic Church in Jeffersontown, Ky.

Tell us why you're headed for Kentucky ...

My dad grew up in Louisville and my fondest memories include visiting my grandma and grandpa in Kentucky. Ever since I was little, I wanted to live there. When I started to look for jobs, I found the Archdiocese of Louisville’s website and on a whim applied for the director of faith formation position at St. Edward Catholic Church right outside the city. I thought I’d apply just to see what would happen.

And what did happen?

I had a virtual interview! At the end they asked if I’d come down for a weekend, interview in person, attend church … I figured if they were having me fly to Louisville they must be interested and really want me to come.

I got the call and they offered me the job in January, before my last semester even started! After giving it much thought, I decided I needed to accept. It just felt so right.

On Ash Wednesday, Father Scott called to ask if I could come visit again. I agreed, and my mom and I both went down. I don’t know if it was “Southern hospitality,” but every time I met somebody it reaffirmed that I made the right decision.

When did you realize that you felt called to work for the Church?

In high school I had two of the best youth ministers. I decided then that when I grew up I wanted to have their job!

I also volunteered teaching religious education classes. I loved working with the middle schoolers and thought middle school ministry might be for me. So I came in to St. Norbert studying theology and education, but quickly realized I didn’t want to be a teacher, even though I thought I did for many years. I knew it wasn’t where I was supposed to be, but I also knew I wanted to keep studying theology … but what was I going to do with a theology degree?

How did you find the answer to that question?

Between my sophomore and junior years, an upperclassman theology major asked if I’d heard of a program called YouthWorks that does Christ-centered mission trips. She thought I’d be great at it and encouraged me to apply — which I did, and spent nine weeks with YouthWorks for the summer of 2019. During that mission is when I realized that’s what I wanted to do with my life.

What is it about service work that motivates you?

My mom and my grandma always said, “To be faithful, you have to do service,” so I did a lot of service growing up because of them. When I find a cause that makes me excited, I have to do everything I can to help.

Who are the people who have affected you most during your time at St. Norbert?

I’m actually working on writing thank-you notes to everybody who’s impacted me. My list is around 40 people right now and growing, because I keep thinking of more I want to thank! Deacon Kevin DeCleene, Amy Keehan, Brian Fogarty and Jennifer Rapavi at the parish, along with Professor Ford from Out|Loud@SNCParish ministry, and John Seckel from the Campus Center have all done so much for me, helping me grow in faith and experience. They’re such a good support team to have, always there and encouraging me; it makes me happy just to know them. And there have been so many more!