VC graduate finds she has mission in life
Megan Lutz of Oil City, an outstanding runner and a state qualifier for Venango Catholic High School and Oil City High School, was profiled in August in the John Carroll University newsletter as a scholar-athlete.
Lutz, daughter of Deb Lutz of Oil City, is a senior at John Carroll where she has earned honorable mention as a 2011 Academic All-Ohio Athletic Conference, women's cross country and track teams for two consecutive years.
The following article, written by Chris Wenzler, John Carroll University sports information director, is being reprinted with the university's permission.
Oil City, Pa., is a stone's throw from Franklin and a quick jaunt down the road from Titusville.
It is also 1,000 miles from Ecuador.
Megan Lutz felt every bit of that distance when she sat aboard a plane heading toward that South American country in late May 2010. "That was my moment of panic," said Lutz as she recounted her first campus ministry immersion experience at John Carroll. "I was thinking, 'what am I doing here?'"
The girl from a small city halfway between Pittsburgh and Erie, whose graduating class from Venango Catholic High School tallied 27 seniors, and whose fluency in Spanish was beginner level at best, was about to face the challenge of her life.
Just another day in the life of Megan Lutz.
Hailing from a town of just over 10,000 inhabitants, Lutz was and still is proud of her one and only hometown.
"When I go for my run, I will always see someone I know," Lutz said. "Almost every face is a familiar one, which can be both good and bad. I love seeing them, but it extends the workout because inevitably I'll stop to talk." It is a place she would love to come back to after graduation, but there was a definite pull to see the world first.
When it came time to seek out a college, she aimed big, targeting the likes of Notre Dame and Villanova.
Then her mother stumbled upon John Carroll.
'It might be a cliche, but when I first stepped on campus for a visit, I fell in love with the place," she said. "The people, the size, the academics ... it just felt like where I needed to be."
It also happened to be a good fit for her athletic career. A cross country runner from a high school program that was coached by the local pastor, Lutz and her small-in-number team had often competed against much bigger schools on a consistent basis. There would be no intimidation factor running at John Carroll.
"My mother was right," Lutz said with a laugh. "I really love competing and being on this team. I never would have had that opportunity at a bigger school like the ones I had initially applied to. Being a part of cross country has really been a positive experience in so many ways."
Lutz is now a senior and entering the second year of being a team captain. Based on the athletes returning as well as a strong freshman class, she feels very optimistic about the team she will be leading.
....When the competitive season ends, Lutz will turn to her life's pursuit of becoming a teacher. She has already done observations and will spend one day per week in the fall in a classroom. She will then spend the spring semester completing her student teaching requirements before picking up her diploma.
As an education major with a 3.97 grade point average, Lutz admits to be chomping at the bit to start her career.
"I love how education is the one major where you get a practice year before getting started on your own," she said.
All the while that Lutz has balanced academics and athletics, she has found time to give back in which ever community she can offer her benevolence. At first, it was in Oil City where Venango Catholic required its students to volunteer 25 hours of community service each year. She would teach religious education or get involved in downtown beautification projects.
Then, at John Carroll, she was encouraged to look into what campus ministry had to offer during Sunday Masses and followed through by joining the Christian Life Communities and signing up for immersion experiences. That eventually put her on the plane to Ecuador.
... Fueled by that first trip, Lutz has since gone to Jamaica and will be heading down to New Orleans in January.
Lutz admits her life is "meticulously planned," and credits her absolute dependency on "to-do lists" a a key to her sanity as well as her success.
At the same time, it is the unexpected moments that nourish her spirit.
"...I remember standing there (on top of a high hill in Ecuador) and just being in awe," Lutz said. "This feeling came over me that is hard to describe, but it was just a sense that despite all the challenges I encountered, this is where I was meant to be at this place and time."
Originally published in The Derrick on September 13, 2011.
VC Featured in Faith Magazine
VC alumni Joseph Janidlo was part of a contingent of seminarians who served Mass with the Pope. Check out the Faith magazine article (pgs 10-12) here.
VC's website launch is featured in the Nov / Dec Faith Magazine! Check out the article on page 28.
- 16 graduate from Venango Catholic
- Golfer Scholarship
- Baseball Field Named
- Margaret Feldman Writing Winners
- VC students to compete in state science competition
- VC inducts 14 into Honor Society
- More graduates, supporters share VC memories
- Special day at VC brings many memories, smiles
- Venango Catholic going strong at 50 while looking toward future
- 50 Year Celebration
- Vikings capture title
- OC man will be escort for Obama at Army-Navy game
- Lending some helping hands
- VC student wins Applefest logo contest
- Cranberry Festival king and queen announced
- VC headmaster leaves post with mixed emotions
- St. Joe's last graduating class to celebrate 50-year reunion
- St. Joe Class of '62 graduates share memories
- Class wants to greet other St. Joseph students at Friday get-together
- 30 graduate from VC
- Samantha Hugar Awarded the Egan Scholarship for Academic Excellence
- Top students named at VC
- VC student named National Merit finalist
- Ex-Vikings star in rugby at Franciscan
- VCHS Names Prom King and Queen
- Venango Catholic High School Holds NHS Inductions
- Venango Catholic High School Prom Candidates
- Local teens put driving skills to test for big bucks
- Willy Wonka
- VC Students Attend Shakespeare Competition
- Venango Catholic Cheerleaders Visit Head Start Students
- VC 58, West Forest 51
- VC Students Participate in District Chorus
- Catholic Schools Week ends with events at VC
- VC Alum Awarded Third Prize in National Competition
- John Carroll honors former Viking Lutz
- Gearing up for Friends giveaway
- Venango Catholic math team finishes third in competition
- Four area stars make collegiate debuts
- Fryburg Naval commander writes from Arabian Sea
- Venango Catholic names homecoming king, queen
- Vikings clinch KSAC golf title
- Venango Catholic homecoming dance set Saturday
- Venango Catholic High School presented with U.S. Flag
- It's Back to the Books for Some
- VC graduate finds she has mission in life
- AC Scholar-Athlete-of-the-Month
- St. Joseph Class of 1961 holds 50-year reunion
- Hawkins takes top spot in tournament
- Hawkins takes first
- Ex-Viking Rynd to play hoops at the Rock
- Lutz earns academic honors
- VENANGO CATHOLIC HIGH SCHOOL AWARDED OVER $85,000 IN GRANT FUNDING
- VCHS Presents "Touchtone 'M' for Murder"
- Media Celebrity
- OC Kiwanis honors scholarship winners, Hugh O'Brian seminar participants
- 15 graduates receive diplomas at VC
- Venango Catholic names top students
- Venango Catholic National Honor Society Inductees
- VC academic team in Hometown High-Q semis
- Venango Catholic Students Participate in Wash Day
- Venango Catholic Crowns Prom King, Queen
- Fryburg native named commander of Carrier Strike Group Three
- Students do well at English festival
- St. Joseph announces Service Award recipients
- Students Compete, Win at Science Olympiad
- Vikings' Rynd named D-9 boys Player of the Year
- Local stars shine in Kozel all-star contests
- Final 2010-11 Area Girls Basketball Scoring Leaders
- Final 2010-11 Boys Basketball Scoring Leaders
- Former Marble man honored in special Mass
- The streak goes on
- Perfect to the Maxx
- ONE YEAR LATER, VC ALUM RECALLS SERVING MASS FOR THE POPE
- VC CHEERLEADERS TALK TO STUDENTS ABOUT ATHLETIC PARTICIPATION
- Vikings stay perfect
- Venango Catholic remains undefeated
- Big game dream come true for Packers fans in Steelers country
- STEELERS TOUCH DOWN IN DALLAS
- Vikings slip past Lions
- 17 VC students attend March for Life
- Good Luck Vikings
- Several area players earn all-state honors
- Vikings ground Falcons
- Venango Catholic advances in KDKA High-Q event
- VC math team places fifth in competition
- AP SCHOLARS
- Friends for Food passes $36,000 mark
- Right on target
- Venango Catholic marks anniversary of predecessor
- VC graduate returns from Iraq deployment
- Venango Catholic Names Homecoming King, Queen
- Venango Catholic launches new website
- Vikings open with pair of victories
- VC grad completes sub-internship at Cleveland medical facility
- Oil City native receives business award from San Antonio chamber
- 19 receive diplomas at Venango Catholic graduation
- Pragle, Hesdon head KSAC teams
- Ex-Viking Lutz honored
- OC woman elected to student position for physicians group
- Pittsburgh Steelers safety Ryan Clark visits school
- Venango Catholic High School Receives IT KickStart Grant
- VC student accepts appointment to West Point
- OC girl to get Girl Scout Gold Award
- Rynd surpasses 1,000-point mark
- VC, St. Patrick, St. Stephen set for Catholic Schools Week
- Ex-Viking DeLaney places at Bucknell