By Kathleen Vink, Outgoing Engagement and Intake Coordinator, Counselling Services, Catholic Family Service

As I sit here thinking ahead to my last day and reflecting on my time with Catholic Family Service, I have a range of emotions. I feel surprised that I’m choosing to leave such a wonderful place of employment that totally walks the talk. I feel sad to be saying good-bye to colleagues I have truly joined in authentic relationship with. I feel curious and excited to know I will carry all I’ve learned here into the next phase of my journey.

When I chose to join CFS, I had come out of two very toxic work environments. Those experiences left me lacking in confidence and knowing I had lost myself in so many ways. I worked as hard as I could to lay down those experiences, because I knew I didn’t want them to affect my new workplace and role. And yet elements of those times followed me into my job.

However, to my absolute delight I learned that what I read about Catholic Family Service online and in the values documents was truly alive in my colleagues. I had found a place where each of my colleagues was truly passionate about serving vulnerable Calgarians.

My time at CFS served to be a healing journey for me. Over the past three years, I have reconnected with who I am. I know that I now authentically show up to work each day, serving the clients by following what my gut tells me has real value. The past no longer holds such power over me, for which I am eternally grateful. One important learning for me involved being in authentic relationship. Even when not on the same page as my colleagues, authentic relationship allows me to lean in and work through to come to a common decision. That happens here at CFS!

My new journey includes moving back home to Lethbridge. My husband and I decided that we wanted to be closer to family, live in a quieter centre and have a simpler life. We were able to purchase a home, which was only possible because of CFS’s generous RRSP matching program. Now we have a humble little 1955 bungalow, with a lovely backyard. There’s a big garden space, raspberry bush, strawberry patch and a nice apple tree in the middle of the yard. We’ve even got a fire pit. We love our little home and are very much looking forward to making many years of memories. We’d welcome a visit from any of you, my CFS family!  Thank you for showing me how an agency can be a family and a place of work all in one. I will miss you dearly. And I will continue doing this important work. Thank you for the wonderful memories and the many important lessons.

Kathleen’s story is an example of why 97% of employees say Catholic Family Service is a good place to work. Check out our many exciting professional opportunities here.