I am a life long resident of South Charleston West Virginia and member of Blessed Sacrament Parish. One might say I have been involved with Youth Ministry since 1994. As a youth growing up at Blessed Sacrament I became involved with organizing service, social, and spiritual opportunities along with Sarah Cavendish, another youth.
I graduated from South Charleston High School in 1997 and then in the fall of 1997 I entered Wheeling Jesuit University studying Liberal Studies Elementary Education and Psychology. In May of 2001, I graduated Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Elementary Education and a minor in Psychology. I completed my Master of Arts in Applied Theology from Wheeling Jesuit University in 2008 as part of the TIMELY program through the Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston. In addition to TIMELY, I have participated in numerous diocesan trainings for youth ministry, for example VITAL, the Diocesan Convocation, and the Summit.
My areas of teaching certification are K-6. I have taught Old Testament, New Testament, Sacraments, health, physical education, spelling, and grammar at CCHS. The 2010-2011 school year marks my tenth year teaching at Charleston Catholic High School. While teaching at CCHS I have sponsored Middle School Service Club, coached Middle School Tennis, co-sponsored the Sophomore Class and Pax Christi.
I have been married to Brian since 2002 and we have a 7 year old daughter named Hannah Marie, a 17 month old son named Aiden Joseph, and #3 is on the way. Our family wouldn’t be complete without our two dogs, Mocha (Chocolate Lab) and Paws (Chocolate Lab mix).
I firmly believe that faith in action is necessary to the formation of all youth. Faith formation is a life-long journey and Youth Ministry and Catholic education must be witnessed for all the youth I encounter. I truly believe that working with youth is truly my vocation!
My goals for Youth Ministry at Blessed Sacrament are from the U.S. Catholic Bishops’ document (1997) Renewing the Vision: A Framework for Catholic Youth Ministry.
The U.S. Catholic Bishops offer a set of guidelines for comprehensive youth ministry. “The comprehensive framework for ministry with adolescents is designed to:
(1) utilize each of the Church’s ministries—advocacy, catechesis, community life, evangelization, justice and service, leadership development, pastoral care, prayer and worship—in an integrated approach to achieving the three goals for ministry with adolescents;
(2) provide developmentally appropriate programs and activities that promote personal and spiritual growth for young and older adolescents;
(3) enrich family life and promote the faith growth of families of adolescents;
(4) incorporate young people fully into all aspects of church life and engage them in ministry and leadership in the faith community;
(5) create partnerships among families, schools, churches, and community organizations in a common effort to promote positive youth development” (RTV, 20).
Therefore, ministry to adolescents ideally moves beyond a ministry that focuses on “my youth group” or “my parish” to embrace a larger ecclesiastical worldview: universal church, diocesan church, family, multiculturalism, intergenerational, etc (Canales, 2007, 60).
The goals within RTV are archetypal for youth ministry praxis and they represent the three pillars of any Catholic youth ministry, and are as follows:
- Goal 1: To empower young people to live as disciples of Jesus Christ in our world today (9).
- Goal 2: To draw young people to responsible participation in the life, mission, and work of the Catholic faith community (11).
- Goal 3: To foster the total personal and spiritual growth of each young person (15).
The Gloriam Award
, a recognition for Leadership, Service, and Academic Excellence at Wheeling Jesuit University’s Honor’s Convocation, four consecutive years.
Alpha Sigma Nu
the National Jesuit Honor Society for men and women who distinguish themselves in scholarly pursuits, loyalty and service to the University and community.
Kappa Delta Pi
an International Honor Society in Education.
– a recognition for leadership and service within Campus Ministry.
At graduation the Katherine Fouts Award and Medal
for exceptional service to Wheeling Jesuit University and significant contribution to the quality of campus life, without reference to academic performance.
At graduation the Mary Woomer Medal
, reflecting bothacademic distinction and service to the University, represent the crowning achievement for a student at Wheeling Jesuit University. A minimum “B” average(3.0) is required for eligibility, and selection is by full-time faculty and administrators of the University voting through confidential ballot.
Other professional training and experiences include:
WJU – Catholic Student Coalition President & State Representative Fall 1997 - Spring 2001
Luceate – Freshman Student Mentor Fall 1998- Spring 2000
WJU Big Brothers/Big Sisters & Civitan Fall 1998 – Spring 2000
Campus Ministry – Student and Liturgical Minister, Faith Sharing Leader, Retreat Leader Fall 97- Spring 01
On Common Ground Intentional Christian Community – Mother Jones House WJU Fall 2000-Spring 2001
Holy Land Pilgrimage (organization & participation) WJU Fall 2000
Governor’s Intern with the WV Commission for National and Community Service Summer 1998-2001
Koinonia Courses -The Wheeling-Charleston Diocese Fall 2001 – Spring 2003
Theology on Tap Charleston Vicariate co-coordinator Fall 2001-Spring 2003
grade Faith Formation Instructor at Blessed Sacrament Fall 2001-Spring 2004
Teens Encounter Christ (TEC) steering committee member & retreat director Fal 2001-present
Blessed Sacrament Youth Minister/Coordinator Spring 2003-present
Blessed Sacrament Parish Council, St. Maria Goretti Guild, and Social Committee member
Learning Strategies I & II - Marshall University Spring 2004
Campus Ministry Leadership Conference presenter – Empowered by the Spirit Spring 2004
TIMELY - Wheeling Jesuit University Summer 2004-2008
Charleston Vicariate Youth Ministry Network Fall 2004-present
Effective Practices for Youth Ministry - The Center for Ministry Development Spring 2005
Diocesan Pastoral Council Young Adult Representative Fall 2005-present
James Fowler’s Stage’s of Faith - Women for Peace Spring 2006
Diocese of Wheeling-Charleston Parish Catechetical and Youth Leader Convocation WJU Presenter 2007– Service Project vs. Life of Service & Youth Ministry.