Tuesday, March 03, 2020 - Updated: 1:20 pm
Missionaries from the Culture Project, an initiative of young people seeking to restore virtue and uphold the dignity of life in the culture, began work in the diocese in February. They will offer presentations to teens and young adults in schools and parishes. This is the second profile of the five missionaries.
A crisp coat of morning snow might be worrisome to many Pittsburgh inhabitants facing a morning commute. Not Brianna Massey.
The missionary, part of the Culture Project team, who hails from California’s Silicon Valley, loves opening her blinds to fresh snow that fell through the night. She credits God’s grace for the journey that brought her across the country.
The older of two sisters, Massey grew up near the technology hub that houses the headquarters for Google, Facebook and Apple, among other media giants. She received her bachelor’s degree in American studies from the University of California at Berkeley, where she played competitive softball.
Her college roommate was a Catholic and a fellow athlete. Massey had been baptized, but never received the sacraments of Eucharist or confirmation. During college, she was involved with a nondenominational church and unfamiliar with the principles of Catholicism.
Her roommate shared her faith with Massey and invited her to SEEK, a conference that encourages young adults to have a profound encounter with God that was hosted in San Antonio, Texas, by the Fellowship of Catholic University Students. Massey was a recent college graduate when she attended the conference alongside 13,000 young adults.
“I had always had this desire on my heart to be a missionary,” she said. “God took that conference and opened a lot of questions.”
After college, Massey began working in sales for a tech company. She was still grappling with questions of faith a year later when she went to confession one Saturday afternoon. The priest in the confessional invited her to the Rite of Christian Initiation of Adults, a program that gave her the answers she sought. Massey received the Eucharist and her confirmation in 2018.
“I just discovered there is so much goodness in the faith, and I was sad to see people walking away before knowing what’s there,” she said.
Massey grew in her faith through the support of Catholic friends she met through a Catholic young professionals group, RCIA and Bible study. Meanwhile, the call to mission work still tugged on her heart.
After working in sales for two-and-a-half years, Massey was considering a new position in her company when she discovered the mission of the Culture Project through Facebook.
“It really struck a chord with me. It was God’s providence,” she said.
She applied with Culture Project and is currently in her first year of mission work. Massey feels privileged that God uses her and her teammates to speak about virtue, chastity and authentic love in dating relationships and friendships. The work challenges her to live by the truths she shares.
Massey and her teammates feel like older brothers and sisters to the teens they serve, she said. She is passionate about helping people discover God’s will and inspiring men and women to live out their uniquely feminine and masculine gifts.
The team is anxious to build the foundation for the Culture Project’s work in the diocese.
“I’m excited to help build something beautiful here. We really want to be a part of the community at large,” Massey said.
To invite the Culture Project to speak at your parish or school, visit https://diopitt.org/the-culture-project.