Christina Silvaria and Stephen Ellsworth

Christina and Stephen

Stephen Ellsworth and Christina Silvaria wearing hairnets as they prepare to pack meals for Africa at the World Meeting of Families

Christina Silvaria attended the World Meeting of Families congress along with her fiancé, Stephen Ellsworth, and the two of them found that the congress, “was way beyond [their] expectations.”

Both Silvaria and Ellsworth are uniquely committed to serving others.  For them, a highlight of the week was joining with Catholic Relief Services, which made it possible for congress attendees to pack food to help victims of drought in Burkina Faso, Africa. Silvaria and Ellsworth appreciated the chance to help.

“There were people from 100 countries—kids, young families, teenagers—working together,” Silvaria said, “to help others around the globe. It felt like we were welcome family members.”

The couple makes it their mission to help others in their everyday lives. Silvaria’s background includes over 40 years as a psychiatric mental health nurse. And more recently, she has felt a calling to offer home health care, seeing it as a way to integrate her faith with her work as a nurse. She’s also completing studies to become accredited to work in faith community nursing, hoping to work in health care ministry with the diocese.

Ellsworth was disabled 12 years ago, suffering five strokes in nine months. He sees his disabilities as an avenue for helping others.

“I like doing whatever I can… If I see someone who is broken, I try to help,” he said.

That help can take the form, he said, of “directing people to jobs, taking people to the doctor, or just helping people to find the help they need.”

Both Silvaria and Ellsworth believe that the impact of the World Meeting of Families and of Pope Francis’ visit to Philadelphia has changed them forever and say it’s a wonderful way for them to prepare for their new life together.

“What I’ve learned at this conference has become a part of me, it’s become a part of us,” Ellsworth said.

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