The Official Newspaper of the Diocese of Little Rock

Caroline Spellins: The Prodigal Daughter

College student, who drifted away from ministry, now 'hands and feet' for the Church

Published: August 3, 2020   
Juliane Pierini
Caroline Spellins, 21, works as a Servant Scholar at St. Thomas Aquinas University Parish at the University of Arkansas July 18. The UA rising senior said the position has allowed her to be the hands and feet of the Church.

Caroline Spellins, 21, calls herself “God’s prodigal daughter.” Coming from a devout family — Randy Spellins, now a diaconate candidate, mother Kim Spellins, a women’s Bible study leader, and three older sisters working in various forms of ministry — she, for a time, “followed in their footsteps” at Christ the King Church in Little Rock. 

After attending the diocesan Search retreat in 2015, her relationship with God became personal. 

“I always knew God, we were friends and I prayed and what not. But I didn’t have this full look into what it was to have a full relationship with God at that age,” she said. 

Her first year attending the University of Arkansas was rocky. She was done with ministry, but still attended Sunday Mass.  

“I went down a lifestyle and a path that I was not happy with and was not fulfilling in the slightest. I got to a point where I missed having ministry friends … I felt so empty and so tired and just missing the point of life,” Spellins said. 

A campus retreat called “Awakening,” fittingly, reawakened her faith life. 

Today, the rising senior has been active at St. Thomas Aquinas University Parish as a part of the Seton Women’s Group, music ministry and working as a Servant Scholar, a position she applied for and earned a scholarship. It involves various administration tasks, including social media outreach. 

“I wanted to be a servant; I wanted to be the hands and feet of the Church, not only with fellow students, but the Church as a whole. I always did ministry but not quite as involved as this position would be,” she said. 

Spellins will graduate in 2021 with a degree in marketing and a minor in supply chain. 

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