Tobias Engel, a Catholic Community Connection 2019 Summer Fellow, is spending his summer interning with the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland.

Tobias, a rising sophomore at John Carroll University (JCU), majors in Political Science and minors in Economics. After graduation from JCU, Tobias’ plan is to attend law school with the hope of practicing law to be able to help those in need. He is a graduate of St. Ignatius High School in Cleveland. Since attending St. Ignatius, Tobias has had the opportunity to work with Judge Michael Donnelly of the Common Pleas Court of Cuyahoga County. Tobias has also spent time working with the Cleveland Rape Crisis Center. He believes these experiences have instilled in him a desire to serve the community.

At his worksite ministry, Adrienne Mundorf, Senior Program Director of the Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland supervises Tobias. The Sisters of Charity Foundation of Cleveland works to increase the community’s ability to improve the lives of people living in poverty through strategic grantmaking and partnerships. Tobias is supporting the foundation in reviewing requests for its Good Samaritan grant program, which responds to the community’s challenge of meeting basic needs.

Tobias sees his experience with the Sisters of Charity Foundation as an opportunity for developing skills, which can be transferred to practicing law for the good of helping others. The process of reviewing grants has helped Tobias learn the value of taking the time to examine each case individually, understanding the factors of consideration, and determine if providing the funds would provide the “greatest good for the greatest number of individuals.” Tobias describes his experience with the Foundation as humbling. “While I am not an expert in this field, I am so appreciative to Adrienne for her patience with me and taking the time to explain the entire process.” Tobias shared that he is the youngest intern they have had. “During my first few days, the staff shared with me of how they have had previous interns with Ivy League backgrounds and other advance experiences. While this was a little overwhelming to learn at first, it reaffirmed two things about myself: First, I can decide how hard I will work and second, I can decide how organized I can be. These are the two main ways that I will be able to succeed in the field and continue to grow as a young professional.”

Tobias’ mentor for the term of the Summer Fellows Program Sr. Evelyn Flowers, CSA. In reflecting on the time he has spent with Sister Evelyn, Tobias shared his appreciation and admiration for all that the Sisters do. “It is amazing how these women live out their faith and how honest they are with their work. They spoke with me about how there are fewer Sisters in active ministry, and the importance of lay people understanding that, in order to raise an awareness of vocations, but also encourage others to become active in these roles to keep them alive.”

Looking ahead to the remaining time in his Summer Fellows experience, Tobias hopes that he can continue to learn how to embrace his Catholic faith in his professional life. “Living out one’s faith is essential and one of the greatest testimonies of being a practicing Catholic. The staff at the Foundation and my Sister mentor have helped me learn to do this in a new way and I hope that I can continue to do this in the future!”

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