Radiating Christ: Paco Patag
When Paco Patag talks about his life and his faith, the world seems to be a brighter place.
Baptized Pablo Francisco, when he was born in St. Louis, Patag credits his parents with the strong Catholic faith that has been his inspiration. “My parents are solidly Catholic and have always been so great about handing on the faith.”
Homeschooled through high school, Patag is the second of the family’s five living children. After high school he studied mechanical and electrical engineering at Cincinnati State Community College and the University of Cincinnati, while volunteering with local crisis pregnancy centers and the St. Vincent de Paul food pantry, Eagle Eye Ministries and his home parish of St. Maximilian Kolbe in Liberty Township.
Now in graduate school, Patag has shifted his professional focus to business, studying for a Masters in Business Administration through Canton’s Walsh University with formation studies in theology and philosophy at the St. John Leadership Institute in Englewood, CO.
The Institute grew out of Eagle Eye Ministries which attracted his attention when he was in high school, Patag explained. Founded by Father Nathan Cromly in 2003, Eagle Eye Ministries hosts a variety of programs from excursions and pilgrimages to retreats and summer institutes for young adults from 16 to 35.
The ministry is designed to inspire young people in high school for the new evangelization, and the Leadership Institute provides an atmosphere where emerging Catholic leaders can develop skills to influence the business culture. Patag, along with fellow graduate students in business entrepreneurship, live in community in Colorado.
In his personal vision statement Patag says that his goal is, “To offer all that I am and all that I have to Jesus Christ, and so use my professional career to love as He loves, leading all those entrusted to my care to Heaven, and participating in the creative work of God by helping build his kingdom here on earth.”
Patag said this season between his first and second year of graduate school is a “free agency summer” when he is exploring a variety of ways to begin living that vision.
One of the highlights of this summer was the archdiocesan Marian Pilgrimage from May 16 to June 19. The pilgrimage covered more than 300 miles in 33 days, visiting 36 parishes from Russells Point to the Basilica Cathedral of St. Peter in Chains in Downtown Cincinnati.
“Mary was truly leading us in pilgrimage to her Son,” he said.
“I have a strong devotion to the Holy Family, and it struck me that I was acting as a guardian of Mary in the Year of St. Joseph. It was a real gift.”
Calling the pilgrimage a “massive undertaking” for the archdiocese and the parishes that participated, Patag said he was heartened by the depth of faith he witnessed during the nine days that he participated. “We were blessed with some really fantastic people.”
He said the teams he served with forged a strong bond during the pilgrimage and he hopes their friendships will continue.
Until he returns to Colorado in late August to finish his studies, Patag will continue his involvement in the community through his work as a coach with the Clifton Strengths Finder program, co-directing the Midwest Summer Institute of Eagle Eye Ministries at Maria Stein and working with the archdiocesan Campus Ministry introduction program.
“I’m just finding ways to help where I can,” he said.
In this last year of study for his MBA, Patag hopes to discern where the Holy Spirit may be calling him after graduation next spring. “I would like to do apostolate development,” he said thoughtfully. He also feels a strong call to marriage and the permanent diaconate.
When asked to talk about radiating the Light of Christ, he responded humbly, “Are you looking for people who radiate Christ? I have a few names I could give you…”
This article appeared in the September edition of The Catholic Telegraph Magazine. For your complimentary subscription, click here.