By Marnie McAllister, Record Editor
More than two dozen adults and youth who serve young Catholics in the Archdiocese of Louisville were recognized for their service Aug. 22 during the annual Youth Ministry Celebration Dinner.
Karl Dolson, director of youth and young adult ministry for the archdiocese, called the staff and volunteers who make youth ministry possible the “lifeblood” of effective ministry.
“Adults and youth that help with youth ministry in a wide variety of capacities are essential to the life and mission of youth ministry at a parish,” he said. “Ministry that is dependent on one person … struggles. So, having others doesn’t add to ministry, it multiplies youth ministry. Two people working together can do more than just two individuals could.”
He noted that all members of a parish community are called to participate in ministry to young people and for that reason, the archdiocese prefers to use the term coordinator of youth ministry, rather than the traditional term “youth minister.”
“They really coordinate youth ministry for the whole parish,” he explained.
Aaron Frazita, who is the coordinator of youth ministry at St. Michael Church, was honored for this work. He received the Companion on the Journey Award, a national honor given in local dioceses by the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry.
During the dinner, the Archdiocese of Louisville’s Office of Youth and Young Adults presented several other awards and certificates to people who share in the work of youth ministry.
Six people received Salt and Light Awards. This award recognizes adults who serve young people as a youth ministry adult leader, catechist, school teacher, coach, scout leader, parish staff member or in other ways as positive Catholic role models. The honorees “invite youth to grow in their faith and be active in the life and mission of the church and understand their role as an important part of youth ministry,” said Dolson.
This award was previously called the “Outstanding Volunteer Award.”
The recipients are:
Gretchen Furlong and Michelle Hartlage of Holy Trinity Church; Lora Gleissner of St. Michael; Joe Powell of St. Patrick Church and Anne Marie Megibben and Lisa Daugherty of the Church of the Annunciation.
Four young people received awards for service to their peers as positive Catholic role models who participate regularly in Mass and the sacraments and are active assistants in youth or campus ministry.
The award is called the Joyful and Courageous Witness Award and was presented to Jennifer Teague of St. Michael; Loris Ann Dobson of St. Luke Church; Margo Hoard of Immaculate Conception Church in La Grange, Ky.; and Mary Gavin of St. Martin of Tours Church in Flaherty, Ky.
Eleven people were recognized for their years of dedicated service.
Cindy McKinley of St. Albert the Great Church and Jonna O’Bryan of St. Patrick.
Aaron Frazita of St. Michael; Bill Ash of Our Lady of Lourdes Church; and Mandy Kumler of St. Aloysius Church in Pewee Valley, Ky.
Kathy Williams of Immaculate Conception; Chad Bader of St. Martha Church; and Reesie Hartlage of Mary Queen of Peace Church.
Ellen Sprigg of the Basilica of St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral in Bardstown, Ky.; Dave Neeson of St. Paul and Incarnation churches; and Joan Huber of the Cathedral of the Assumption.
Certificates were also presented to those who have completed the youth ministry mentoring process.
They are Valerie Greenwell of St. Martin of Tours in Flaherty and St. John the Apostle Church in Brandenburg, Ky.; Jordan Mattingly of St. Augustine Church in Lebanon, Ky., and Holy Rosary Church in Springfield, Ky.; and Anna Peterson of St. Gabriel.
Nine people earned certificates in youth ministry this year. These certificates are normally presented at the Youth Ministry Celebration Dinner, but were given early this year. The recipients were:
Sierra Altenstadter of St. John Paul II Church; Robby Baker of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Church; Melissa Fisackerly and Jason Garvey of Holy Trinity; Jennifer Heitkamper of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel; Mirna Lozano and Rodrigo Lozano of St. Dominic Church in Springfield, Ky.; James Read of the Church of the Epiphany; and Jordan Mattingly of St. Augustine in Lebanon.