The Girl Who Started Everything at the University of Virginia
by Sheryl Young
Ratio Christi at the University of Virginia (UVA) began in the spring of 2013, and we have a student to thank for that. Caitlin Montgomery was instrumental in starting the chapter and finding a chapter director.
“Hearing about Ratio Christi’s mission was incredibly inspiring,” Montgomery says. “When I found out UVA didn’t have a group yet, I figured it would be the perfect opportunity to try and help start one.”
Montgomery’s student leadership and unsinkable interest in apologetics was acknowledged in Spring 2015 when Chapter Director Rebekah McCallum presented her with RC’s Legatus Christi certificate. McCallum explains how Montgomery exemplifies an RC student:
“Caitlin has been an outstanding asset to the group. Not only had she started the club a semester before my arrival at UVA, but she has also consistently led the other students through her wisdom, insight, and encouragement. She is well-read and very active in engaging with people who hold different beliefs from her own. Weekly, she attends the Virginia Atheists and Agnostics Club to have conversations and invite them to discuss topics with Ratio Christi. She is able to lead group meetings on her own because of the intensive study and training she completes independently. She always seeks to be prepared to give a reason to everyone who asks her for the hope that she has within. And she does it with gentleness and respect.”
Thanks to McCallum’s directorship and students like Montgomery (who has served as president for the extent of the chapter’s existence), the chapter has done well.
“The numbers fluctuate each week, but there are consistent members as well as consistent interest in the topics that are covered,” McCallum says – as we prepare to lose her as one of our directors. “I am moving on from my post at UVA. I operated as Chapter Director while a master’s degree student and I have now completed those studies. I’m starting a PhD in the fall at McGill. I hope that another chapter director comes who will continue to provide the encouragement and training that these young people need to grow. While Caitlin has done much and is obviously dedicated, I still would love for her to gain support and be under the tutelage of someone who can provide resources for thinking through deeper heart and soul questions.”
“Rebekah has not only been a wonderful chapter director, but a personal mentor and friend. I found her after spending a fair amount of time on the phone with Blake Anderson (Ratio Christi’s COO), getting information and setting up the club. He mentioned there was a masters’ degree student who may be coming to UVA that next fall. Rebekah came to visit a few weeks later and we met for lunch. We clicked really well, and I ended up skipping my last class that day to talk more with her! She truly has a servant’s heart and is incredibly sacrificial in everything she does…
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