MCKENZIE DAO

Hometown: Lindsay, TX

Education: B.S. in Zoology with minor in Neuroscience from Texas A&M University

Ministry at Ablaze: Recruiting

Ministry Background: In high school I was heavily involved in Camp Fort Worth, a retreat for high school youth that had a large focus on performing works of mercy and establishing the importance of community. After attending, I was able to serve on the A-Team, a team whose primary job was to welcome the new campers and serve as leaders in small groups or at various service sites. Through Camp Fort Worth, I learned the true value of serving not only the community at large, but also the people around me.

In college I became involved in many organizations through St. Mary’s Catholic Church in College Station, including Aggie Awakening, Connect Freshman Retreat, Jesus Is Lord (A series of Lenten talks) , Kappa Theta Beta (The Catholic Sorority) , and Saint Mary’s Youth Retreat Team (SMYRT). In Jesus Is Lord and Kappa Theta Beta, I was a small group leader, and I facilitated discussions on talks that were given or passages that were read. I staffed many Awakenings and a few Connects, adopting roles of leading the those attending, serving them, or just lifting them up. In SMYRT I staffed a confirmation retreat for high schoolers, leading small group discussions, performing skits, and making them feel welcome.

Passions and interests: I love reading, and through reading learning about my faith. I also love listening to music, meeting new people, trying new food, and playing board/card/domino games.

How did you become involved with Ablaze/why are you involved? After staffing a confirmation retreat for high school youth through Saint Mary’s Youth Retreat Team, I became aware of how much I enjoyed working with people and sharing my faith. I realized that I did want to work with youth in some way, and I began to look at ministry positions. I wanted to learn more about my faith and teach others about it.

Favorite quotes and Bible Verses:

The Lord himself will fight for you; you only have to keep still.
-Exodus 14:14

The ways of the Lord are not comfortable, but we were not created for comfort, but for greatness, for good.
-Pope Benedict XVI

To live without faith, without a heritage to defend, without battling constantly for truth, is not to live but to ‘get along’; we must never just ‘get along’.
-Bl. Pier Giorgio Frassati