Say Hello to Andy Bonjour!
February 14, 2022
Has God ever asked you to trust Him? Of course, He has. He’s asked us all to go out on a limb and do the thing that would be best for us… even when it’s hard… even when it looks like something a little harder than we’d otherwise have chosen for ourselves. That’s what I’m doing right now… I’ve ventured out on a limb that I call Cincinnati… I call it being the new Studio Production Manager at Ruah Woods… but it’s not a wobbly branch that feels like it’s about to break. It’s a strong branch, attached to a sturdy trunk deeply rooted in the Catholic Faith.
Let me introduce myself, my name is Andy Bonjour. My primary vocation is that of a husband and father. I have the duty and responsibility to raise my kids rightly in the faith, and to help my wife grow in holiness, with the ultimate goal of getting us all into that heavenly banquet. My work greatly contributes to and compliments my efforts in this vital task.
For example, back in 2005, I heard God calling me to move to Steubenville, Ohio to start my family and to create videos promoting Catholic education for Franciscan University. As Creative Director of Video Production for the university, I helped to develop the strategy and productions for communicating the message of the importance of Catholic higher education around the world. Along the way, I stepped into projects for the Discovery Channel, the Knights of Columbus, the St. Paul Center for Biblical Theology, Catholics United for Faith and EWTN. Additionally, as a professor at Franciscan University in both Communication Arts and English, I accompanied students to find their uniquely creative spark… and I loved walking with them.
Trying to inspire that creative spark is also an endeavor I impress upon my seven blessings, whom I refer to as a boatload of children (sans the boat!). My wife and I often involve them in our personal creative outlets to demonstrate our own pursuits in sewing and writing, plus engage them in the skill of thinking outside the proverbial box. To be sure, our family has been immensely enjoying our time living in a devoutly Catholic community within the old steel town of Steubenville, Ohio. However, God had put it on our hearts that the time was right for us to move forward, to trust in His divine providence, and to discover how He is working in this ministry that is Ruah Woods. Ultimately, this meant choosing to uproot our large family and move to Cincinnati. “Really God??” I had to ask, “Really?”
Yup… really. Through prayer and inquiry, we came to understand more about the heroic undertaking at Ruah Woods to spread far and wide God’s plan and purpose for the human person, a missing Christian anthropology, in Catholic education otherwise known as Pope St. John Paul II’s Theology of the Body. And now we’re amid this family move, finding ourselves continuing to pray for God’s guidance to show us the way as we navigate the seemingly endless details and tasks, while always trying to anticipate our part in the preparations and next steps. Squinting to see what God has in store. That includes, of course, the monumental challenges of house-selling and house-hunting, so we invite you to join us in an asynchronous St. Joseph Novena (please!).
I am shaping this new adventure into a catalyst for my family to grow deeper in love with Jesus. So much is changing with this ambitious move. It’s scary and at times feels a little bit like the invisible bridge in the Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade movie (check-out the clip: https://youtu.be/q-JIfjNnnMA ). Yes, I am showing my age here, but the nostalgia is compelling.
God pushes us to do that at times… step out in faith from what is good to something that is greater, a life lived more deeply in His embrace, aligned to His will. That greater good is what I’m planning to be an integral part of at Ruah Woods. By contributing to the ongoing conversion and formation of Catholic educators, who, in turn, God-willing, support me as a father in passing on the faith to my children in their teaching and witness. Consequently, as we pack up our belongings and set out for life in Cincinnati, we’re particularly cognoscente of this role of Catholic teachers in our children’s lives. During this crazy chapter, I’m trusting virtual strangers to play an essential part of their faith formation. We’re trusting that God will use this life-move as a holy catalyst in our lives, and that their new Catholic school teachers will have a significant part in it. Maybe you feel some pressure if you’re a teacher or administrator… I’m giving you influence over my kids’ eternal bodies and souls.
I am pleased to bring with me to Ruah Woods my experience in Catholic video production and studio management. With the addition of our new in-house studio at Ruah Woods, I will help produce the videos and courses to inspire teachers and students to embrace Christ through the lived practice of the Theology of the Body in answer to the questions we all ask: Who am I? Why am I here? Where do I belong?
From your vantage point in Catholic education (a teacher, administrator, parent, grandparent, charitable donor, or even a student), join me and my family in prayer that we can all be better instruments of His peace, courageous witnesses of His love, and merciful truth-tellers. Pray with me that all of us can stay the course for the sake of our children forming our future culture. The future is becoming the now, which is the only time in history that we can make a difference and yet somehow impact eternity. Take a moment with me to pray and reflect on how God is calling you to join me on these branches. How is He calling you to His is embrace out on your own limb? Trust in Him, these roots are strong.
Written by, Andy Bonjour,
Ruah Woods Press’ Studio Production Manager,