Young Catholic Professionals board member Bianca Nerenberg, St. Cecilia parochial vicar Fr. Brent Crowe, YCP Board member Gabe Kennedy and speaker Molly O’Donnell pose at the group’s Sept. 10 meeting. (Courtesy Young Catholic Professionals)
Young Catholic Professionals board member Bianca Nerenberg, St. Cecilia parochial vicar Fr. Brent Crowe, YCP Board member Gabe Kennedy and speaker Molly O’Donnell pose at the group’s Sept. 10 meeting. (Courtesy Young Catholic Professionals)

BEAVERTON — The Portland Chapter of Young Catholic Professionals gathered Sept. 10 at St. Cecilia Church here. Almost 70 young adults came to hear from Molly O’Donnell, director of “Save First Financial Wellness” at Catholic Charities of Oregon.

O’Donnell shared both financial and spiritual advice gained through her experience as a social worker and certified financial coach, her development of non-profit programs, her leadership in asset building, her time working on Capitol Hill and her own life journey.

O’Donnell invited attendees to put themselves in the shoes of those who find themselves trapped by difficult financial situations. She shared how she, like many young people in their 20s, accumulated debt while navigating life challenges.

She then worked three different jobs to build a better life for her four children. Implementing many principles from Dave Ramsey’s book “Total Money Makeover” helped her improve her family’s circumstances and find a better way to live.

This inspired O’Donnell to help others by developing the Save First program through Catholic Charities. Serving approximately 500 clients each year, Save First accompanies clients on their own path to self-sufficiency through free classes, training in budgeting and matched savings.

In addition to the practical advice she shared, O’Donnell stressed the importance of her Catho-lic faith in bringing joy, purpose, and community into her life. She encouraged attendees to in-vest in their friendship with Christ through eucharistic adoration, to give thanks in all things and to invest in their communities of faith.

Young Catholic Professionals offers professional, spiritual, and community support to young adults in their 20s and 30s. Upcoming events include a free executive speaker session Nov. 5. Find out more at ycpportland.org.