To give you some background about me, I've been working for the Church since 2003. I actually began in youth ministry, but also have an extensive background in sacramental preparation along with catechesis for youth, young adults, and adults. I have also directed RCIA programs and taught theology in a Catholic high school. In 2014 I completed a master's degree in theology from Franciscan University. I also launched a non-profit organization for young Catholic men in high school called the Knights of St. Tarcisius. The program, with boys from across Kansas City, challenges our members to be active in their parishes as altar servers through high school and later as extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion. We also provide them with advanced liturgical education, catechesis, spirituality, retreats, and fraternity. I plan to have the Knights of St. Tarcisius be the primary youth program for high school aged boys of Curé.
I have also been working with Coronation parish of Grandview, Missouri on a sodality - another name for a Catholic girls organization - for the high school girls of Curé. The parish has very generously given us all the documentation needed to launch a St. Maria Goretti Sodality here at Curé of Ars. It is still in the early stages, but like the Knights of St. Tarcisius, members of the St. Maria Goretti Sodality would be challenged to play an active role in the life of the parish in high school. Both organizations are meant to facilitate youth in their transition to Catholic adulthood after Confirmation in 8th grade, and as the new Confirmation Director I would like to make a strong connection between Confirmation and youth activities. In this light I see youth activities in middle school being very connected to Confirmation preparation while youth activities in high school being tied to the meaning of living a fully confirmed and initiated Catholic life.
I've never met a middle school or high school youth who wanted to be treated like a child - and I've never met youth who didn't like to be treated as adults, challenged to be the strong and faithful young men and women God has made and called them to be. I am every excited about the many great activities we'll be launching soon and I am so thankful for all the prayers and support as the new school year beings.