As he and his wife were driving to Chicago for their wedding, Marc got a call and was asked if he could interview the same week he was getting married. Without hesitation, he agreed and the rest, as they say, is history.
“I think ultimately the theme and me coming here … is that you have to be available to say yes and you have to be open to the possibilities of what other people are asking of you,” he said. “That’s a big part of it and I think that goes along with being here, being open to what our youth need and trying to meet them spiritually in that capacity.”
As the manager of spiritual development, Marc says Mercy Home’s main approach to spirituality is inclusivity.
“I get to come to work every day and encounter God or encounter the spirituality of the kids here, and that has to be the way that I approach it,” he said. “I can’t bring my own ideas of it, my own interpretation of it, because that’s not fair to them and that’s not in line with our treatment model either.”
Marc explained that he tells the kids that spirituality is about connection—whatever connects you to other people, connects you to the world, and makes you want to be a better person. And while many people find that in religion and prayer, others may also find it in nature.
A big part of Marc’s job is putting together spiritual retreats for the kids that take place at various times throughout the year.
“That’s where I get to be creative and try out different things and I’ve got to do a lot of really cool things with that,” he said.
Marc added that one place where his spirituality does influence his work at Mercy Home is in the realm of justice.
“My spirituality has always been driven by justice, so I think I see the importance of our youth wanting to make a just impact on the world,” he said. “I think that’s an important part of what we do, too, [like asking the kids], ‘what are you receiving here and how do you repay that?’”
But ultimately, the reason Marc continues love coming to Mercy Home every day is the coworkers.
“I think the encouragement of coworkers who see the value in what I’ve providing and who work with it are amazing,” he said.
“Because there are so many people around here that believe in it, they help—it’s become this bigger thing that people check into, people are doing the work with me and I couldn’t sustain what I do without that,” he said. “So, knowing that those people are here, and they believe in it and not just that they are willing to work with me, but they’re excited about that, that keeps me coming to work every day.”