Heather in Alberta, Canada
Tell us your name, age and your state-in-life!
My name is Heather Stanko, I’m 24 and single.
Where are you located?
I live on a farm near a small town called Lomond, in Alberta, Canada.
Are you a cradle Catholic, convert or revert?
I am a cradle Catholic.
What’s been the biggest game changer in your Catholic faith?
A few years ago I had the incredible privilege of attending St. Therese Institute of Faith and Mission, which is a 9-month Catholic Faith Formation Program, located in small town Bruno, Saskatchewan, Canada. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without that year! I learned and grew so much as a person in my true identity and deeper integration of my faith into who I am. I learned so much about our rich Catholic faith amongst a group of amazing young adults, all with hearts geared towards God. It was wholesome and enriching, although challenging in the best way possible which brought a depth to my life I didn’t imagine possible.
Name a saint you identify with and share why.
St. Therese the “Little flower” because she was the patron of the faith formation school I attended. I grew to love her “Little Way” of making everything we do a prayer and an act of self-giving love. She had such faithfulness to each task and how if it is done with love then it can be a prayer which in turn means we can make our whole day a prayer. She had such a bold confidence in God particularly His love and providence for her. Also my name is a Scottish flower and so I relate a lot to her in being the “Little flower” and her love of nature.
When have you felt most valued as a woman in the Church?
I have felt most valued as a woman in the church when I get to share my faith with others and hear their story in return as it brings an instant deep connection and solidarity in our faith. Anything that brings communion of hearts amongst persons I deeply treasure.
What’s your favorite way to pray?
I love my mornings with a hot cup of coffee, sitting on my couch and starting my day with God. Whether it be reading the daily mass readings, a spiritual book, journaling, playing guitar or being still in His presence. But always to end prayer, I love the daily devotional book called “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young, it always hit me right where I am at.
Favorite liturgical holiday?
Well of course Easter is king when it comes to liturgical holidays and the climax of our faith. Oh the intensity and great joy of that season. But I would also have to add in Christmas. I’ve always loved Christmas carols as cliché as that may be but there is such a joy, hope and awe I feel during that time of year that warms my heart so much. The way that it gathers people together and also the way God chose to come into our world always brings such a sense of awe and wonder.
What do you do for fun?
I LOVE people! So usually any spare time I have is spent visiting with family and friends and sharing life with them. I also enjoy being outside, playing guitar and traveling near or far!
Three words that describe you — go!
Joyful, genuine, deep