- We hired one exceptional Missionary Staff. College graduates from Baton Rouge to the Pacific Northwest, from Sunny California back to our own East Texas make up our incredible team that will lead thousands of young people to Jesus this school year alone. With a great sense of humor, passionate evangelizing hearts, and brave skills on the ropes course our team of seven have encountered some unforgettable experiences in the past six months. They have learned to work, live, eat, pray, and celebrate together. They have grown in knowledge and understanding of what the Church is by living in community. They have endured suffering and loss and have enjoyed laughter and excitement as a team. In November they were even generously given a new TV! (Thanks again Prince of Peace Plano!) Our days have been filled with road trips, movies, little league games, 5th graders, 8th graders, and one Dave Moore visit. It honestly has been an amazing ride so far with these seven outstanding individuals. Thank you Lord for blessing The Pines with these masterpieces!
- We have two new Program Directors. Many of you met Bryan, or Flash, this past summer. Unfortunately, East Texas was not the right fit for him and his wonderful family. We are thankful for our time with them and send our best to their newborn son, Walter. Their departure left us an opportunity to hire two amazing individuals to lead our programming.
Madelyn Rodriguez (Baja) was hired at the end of camp last summer as our Summer Program Director. She comes to us from Carrollton, Texas by way of Texas A&M University (whoop!) and brings a great knowledge gained from her five summers employed at The Pines in addition to many more as a camper.
Krista Fultz (Sweet Pea) came to us in November to take on the role of our Year Round Program Director. She brings an excitement to the Missionary Team by evangelizing with joy. She spent three summers with us and a year of Missionary Staff before spending a few years in Buffalo, NY. Sweet Pea and Baja love being roommates and discovering all the fun things to do in East Texas.
- We talked about the Three Wise Men at Alive Again. What a great weekend we had with our teen campers and returning summer staff this Advent! Our priests heard over 150 confessions outside while staying warm by propane heaters. We packed the Chapel and worshiped with Cooper Ray (or Beaver to you old school Pines goers) as our talented musician and speaker. We took the theme of the Epiphany and shared about the gifts we can bring the Lord: our best (gold), our worship (frankincense), and our sacrifice (myrrh).
- We celebrated four Engagements of our former summer staff. We are so excited for each of them. I believe they will be naming their children “Little Tunas” to honor the guy that hired them at the same time. You’re welcome.
- We look forward to the Fifth Anniversary of our St. Francis of The Pines Chapel. Can you believe it? More to come on this one at a later date. What amazing joys and blessings have come out of that tiny building in the middle of the woods! Thank you Lord!
- Well, another year, another baby for the Egans. This time it’s number…you guessed it…SIX. This will be our fifth girl in a row. I guess God thinks we’re good at raising girls or something! We'll meet our new daughter this July!