Living the faith doesn’t necessarily have to mean doing something massive or transformative. The faith is so often lived out in some of the smallest moments, every day. Parishioners Michael and Claire Ochoa understand this, as they are living the faith one day at a time.
Michael is the Director of Youth Ministry and Catechesis here at the parish. Claire takes care of the catechesis for children. They point out that Michael takes over with our youth at the point where their formation with Claire has concluded — she coordinates catechesis for kindergarten to fifth grade, while he takes care of sixth to 12th grade. The couple has been at St. Patrick’s for just over a year. They have one son, Samson, who is 6 months old.
You probably don’t hear of many couples drawn together over philosophy. But that’s exactly how the Ochoas met — while taking master’s classes at Boston College.
“Michael likes to say we met online,” Claire says. “We met during an online class on St. Thomas Aquinas during the pandemic.”
Michael grew up in Colorado Springs, so this is home. His family belonged to St. Dominic’s. Claire was raised in Idaho. The couple feels blessed to be part of the St. Patrick’s community. They are thankful that parishioners have been so welcoming. Last semester, they hosted young family nights, during which newly married couples and their young children were invited for a potluck and fellowship.
“Michael has been good about inviting people over so we can get to know them better,” Claire says.
“We’ve had to learn a lot of new names really fast to get to know people,” Michael says.
Claire also works at the Thomas MacLaren School, while Michael has been settling into his role. He has enjoyed building relationships with young parishioners through youth ministry gatherings, while Claire has enjoyed getting to know the youth and their families as well. They see their work as part of their ministry — Michael even relates stewardship to taking care of their home.
“A home is a gift from God that you have to steward,” Michael says. “You should treasure it well and be hospitable. We like to have people over to start to form small communities.”
The day the couple signed on for their home, they were doing some work with those who are homeless — this served as a valuable reminder to them to always honor and steward their blessings.
Another blessing they want to live out stewardship is in raising their son, Samson. He has given them a new appreciation for the beauty of life.
“Becoming a father has changed my life,” Michael says. “It’s making me remember that for this little guy, I want to do what is best. I want him to see a model of Christ, and I have to be that. It’s making me take my faith life more seriously.”
Both Claire and Michael are thankful for their faith which has brought them to this point.
“Life is meaningless without God,” Claire says. “He created us for everlasting life with Him. He wants a relationship with us, and church is an opportunity to fall more in love with the person who created us.”
In their free time, the couple also enjoys playing tennis and board games.