Q&A with Camille Pauley

Camille Pauley will be leading a women’s Advent retreat the weekend of December 8-10, 2017. We hope you enjoy getting to know Camille a little better before your retreat weekend!

Q: Please tell us a little bit about yourself! Where you work, your position and responsibilities. If you’d like to share, tell us about your family life and/or hobbies outside of work.                  

Camille: I’m the co-founder and President of Healing the Culture. My husband and I are raising two homeschooled daughters, which pretty much takes care of our time for family life and hobbies outside of work. Although we have become fairly good at kite-flying recently. 10 minutes in the air is our record! (The kite; not us.)

Q: What do you love most about coming to work every day?

I love the creative aspect of what we do at Healing the Culture. We are constantly brainstorming, creating, and testing new ways of evangelizing ordinary people to embrace the higher viewpoint of pro-life ethics. I love to see my team’s creative juices flowing, and the collegiality we share when we are together.

My greatest joy, however, is the interaction we have with college students, high school students, and adults who learn our program and offer feedback on how it has changed their lives and even saved their children from abortion, or saved someone they know from the despair of suicide. Often, one little mistake about what real happiness is can cause the most profound suffering and despair. We offer the antidote to that.

Q: What have been your biggest challenges in your pro-life ministry, and how have you and your staff overcome them?

With only five seconds of forethought on the matter, I’d have to say that the biggest challenge we face in our ministry is laziness. People are lazy about morality. They are lazy about research. They are lazy about reading and about exploring new possibilities. They are lazy about relationships. There’s a cultural laziness about what we choose for our entertainment, our news sources – even how we school our children and the church we decide to go to. If it weren’t for this seeming cultural tendency toward laziness, my job would be a lot easier. The only way we overcome this is by never going away. We’re the “always knocking at your door” people. And we make our resources really cool and irresistible.

Q: If you’d like, please share an experience from this past year where you saw a great witness to the pro-life ministry, or someone you encountered who had a change of heart.

We recently spoke to all the students at an all-boys Catholic school over a two-day period. One of the students remarked that he was Jewish, but couldn’t hold his family’s views on abortion any longer after hearing our arguments. My pro-life heroes are people like Courtney Baker – she wrote a letter to her Ob/Gyn who had encouraged her to abort her third child when Down Syndrome was detected. After the baby was born, Courtney mailed a letter that described her baby as “perfect,” and lamented that her doctor never told her that a child with Down Syndrome could be perfect. Her letter went viral, and she ended up all over national news. I had the privilege of flying out to Florida to meet Courtney and her family last year, and presenting her with our Cultural Hero Award. Ordinary people who do extraordinarily sacrificial and generous things out of love – those are my heroes.

Q: How has working for Healing the Culture impacted or strengthened your faith life?

In too many ways to mention. Mostly, it has humbled me. As an organizational leader, you quickly learn that you can’t do anything on your own, you need to focus on what you excel at, you have to be willing to take the blame and ask for forgiveness often, and you have to have the detachment to let projects crash and burn when they aren’t working. Some of our best products have come out of the ashes of projects that have crashed and burned.

Q: Your Advent women’s retreat is called “Resurrecting Woman.” Could you explain the theme?

Our popular culture seems to be doing everything it can to kill the ethos of what it means to be a woman. But without authentic womanhood in the culture, it will surely destroy itself. You cannot have a just, compassionate, ordered, and empathetic society without a healthy notion of woman.

The point of the retreat is to define the ontological reality of genuine womanhood, explore its characteristics, and have each woman personally identify with and fall in love with her own unique expression of her feminine ethos. Every woman needs a place where she can get away from the false and completely destructive voices that are tearing her nature to pieces, and experience a real resurrection of her own womanhood.

God help our families and our culture if Catholic women become ashamed of our Church’s rich and full vision of womanhood. Beyond their own enrichment, my hope is that each of the women who attend this retreat will feel better equipped and more confident to help resurrect woman in their families’ culture, as well.

Q: Do you have any particular favorite spirituality? Prayers? Saint?

Daily Mass is my hands-down favorite. Without it, I’m lost. I also really like spontaneous prayer. It doesn’t make any sense to have a friendship with God if you can’t talk to Him whenever you want – even if you don’t have a fixed prayer to go with what you are thinking. And yet, that Hail Mary has come to my rescue more times than I can count. I pretty much just like being Catholic – the whole meal deal. What’s not to like?

 

If you have not already registered for this retreat, we encourage you to do so here!