Just a year out of college, Andreina PARDEY '18 holds a rare sense of purpose and devotion, qualities that elude many their entire lives.
Just a year out of college, Andreina PARDEY '18 holds a rare sense of purpose and devotion, qualities that elude many their entire lives. As a missionary with FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students), she aims “to bring others to the same place of encounter; that as they meet the Lord, they are brought to the heights of freedom.”
Raised in a Catholic family and educated at Duchesne beginning in fourth grade, Andreina’s faith was—practically speaking—an ubiquitous part of life. Growing up, Andreina knew “God was real, but His presence felt intangible.” As an undergraduate at the University of Texas, she attended Mass regularly at the Catholic Student Center on campus, but it was one of many activities in her schedule, side-by-side with participating in her sorority (Alpha Delta Pi) and a full courseload (she graduated with a dual degree in marketing and psychology in 2022).
Andreina was introduced to FOCUS at UT’s Catholic Student Center, although it would take several years before she embraced their mission as her own. Early interactions with FOCUS missionaries left an impression of "light and joy," qualities she yearned for herself, but her spiritual guardedness and fear of vulnerability led her to largely ignore their outreach.
Everything changed with the onset of the pandemic in the Spring of 2020, her sophomore year of college. Until then, despite a God-centered upbringing, she had not truly experienced His love. Uncertain of the future and shaken in her sense of self, Andreina found in God a new identity “that was permanent, real, and far more beautiful than anything I could ever have created on my own.” Andreina emphasizes that the encounter, though private, was made possible by seeds sown both at Duchesne and by her exposure to FOCUS.
When she returned to campus that fall, “the posture of my heart had shifted,” making her receptive to fellowship. Fears quieted by faith, Andreina became actively engaged with Texas FOCUS for the remainder of her undergraduate life. She reflects now that those early encounters with FOCUS missionaries are a testament to the beauty of never giving up on people like herself.
Following graduation, Andreina put her marketing degree to use freelancing for an e-commerce grocery startup. Though she felt unfilled, she resisted—even questioned—the calling to leave her nascent career and assume God’s work as her own. Eventually, her answer expressed itself in the form of joining the organization she credits, in part, with opening her heart to hear that calling in the first place. She hopes to do the same with her ministry.
Beginning in August 2023, Andreina will be stationed at the University of Southern Mississippi. Her ministry will center on women in Greek life, connecting her work to her experiences both at Duchesne and Alpha Delta Pi. She plans to be “radically available to students” on campus by spending her days in morning Mass, followed by one-on-one discipleship meetings over coffee or lunch, and leading evening Bible studies. She will also lead retreats and plan mission trips, often coinciding with school holidays like Spring Break: “We meet the students where they are.”
The commitment to FOCUS is at least two years. Down the road, Andreina is considering returning to school for her master’s degree in psychology and practicing in the Catholic/Christian counseling space. But ultimately, she says, God will reveal His plan for her and this time, she will follow without hesitation.
To learn more about Andreina’s work and get involved with the mission, please contact her directly at Andreina.Pardey@outlook.com.