I’m very pleased to announce that beginning this August, Veronica Ripp will be our Coordinator of Youth Ministry at St. Raphael. I heard someone say recently that the Church in every age should have a “preferential option for the young.” This seems in keeping with what we hear many places in Scripture about the importance of helping the next generations to come to know God personally and to mature in faith.
Veronica will be coordinating the various ways in which we do ministry with middle and high school aged youth. We currently have around 1,800 young people of this age registered at St. Raphael. 1,800! What this means is that we need a whole team of people, both staff members and especially volunteer ministers, from among both our English and Spanish speaking members, to work together in a coordinated way to build the future of youth ministry… To take the next steps in creating robust and dynamic ministry structures that can begin to reach more and more of our many young people in meaningful ways and invite them to become missionary disciples of Jesus.And by the way, for those of you who are in middle school and high school – that team includes you too! One of the most important ways your peers can come to know Jesus and his Church better is through your life and witness. What better way to reach a generation for Christ than through you guys who are part of that generation?
Veronica has a word of greeting for us:
Hi, my name is Veronica Ripp. Starting this fall, I will be your Coordinator of Youth Ministry! (Yes, that means you too!) Here are a few things to know about me: I like chocolate pastries, kayaking, and singing in the car. I love Jesus, his Church, and doing anything creative! St. Raphael will be the third church at which I have served in youth ministry. Most recently I was in Winston-Salem, N.C. If you see me around, please introduce yourself. I would love to meet you. Feel free to ask me about any of the six states in which I have lived…maybe we have one (or two) in common! See you soon!
I look forward to the experience and vision Veronica will bring to youth ministry at St. Raphael. While she will not begin full-time until later in August, you may see her around campus for visits as she prepares to take on this new role. Please keep Veronica, and God’s plans for our young people, in your prayers!
With youthful hope,
Fr. Phil Hurley, SJ