By Jessica Able, Record Staff Writer
Teens from the Archdiocese of Louisville assembled Aug. 12 at the Knights of Columbus Hall on River Road to say “thank you” to adult volunteers in youth ministry.
The gathering was part of the annual archdiocesan Youth Ministry Celebration Dinner.
About 150 people filled the KofC banquet hall that overlooks the Ohio River to recognize the contributions of youth ministers, priests, chaplains, catechists, teachers, campus ministers and youth ministry volunteers to young people in the archdiocese.
Dr. Carole Goodwin, director of youth ministry and young adult ministry for the archdiocese, said there was a lot of excitement surrounding the awards dinner this year because it was planned entirely by 18 young people.
“The Youth Advisory Board and the TEC (Teens and Twenties Encounter Christ) youth leaders came together to plan it. We doubled last year’s numbers,” Goodwin said.
Sydney Barnett, a parishioner of St. Albert the Great Church, gave an address following dinner where she noted that youth ministry has become an integral part of her formation.
“There are a lot of people in this world that don’t get the appreciation they deserve. The people we just recognized are just a few of the hundreds of adults in our archdiocese who make the church a welcoming and special gift to Catholic teenagers like me,” she said.
Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz expressed his appreciation to the archdiocesan youth and young adult ministry staff, including Goodwin, Karl Dolson, associate director of youth ministry, and Vivian Cornell, secretary for the youth and young adult ministry staff. The archbishop noted that it’s an exciting time for youth in the archdiocese.
“We’ve just seen a Mass that included three million young adults down in … Copacabana beach where our Holy Father Pope Francis touched the hearts of so many young people,” he said. “We are going to have NCYC (National Catholic Youth Conference) coming up in November and there are so many opportunities for us to be able to deepen
The youth planning team performed a skit called “The Best of Youth Ministry,” where they highlighted some of their favorite youth ministry activities including retreats, the Christian Leadership Institute and Friday night lock-ins.
Two youth ministry volunteers received “Companions on the Journey” awards, a national award given by the National Federation for Catholic Youth Ministry. The ministry volunteers honored were Jeanne Recktenwald of St. Bernard Church and Laura Zoeller from All Saints Church in Taylorsville, Ky.
Kristina Vogt, a member of St. Joseph Church, was recognized for her completion of the mentoring program.
Twenty-five people were presented with the 2013 Outstanding Volunteer Awards. They are:
Angela Branham, Basilica of St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral, Bardstown; Ren’ee Brizendine, St. Lawrence; Susan Brown, Basilica of St. Joseph Proto-Cathedral; Jan Clan, St. Athanasius; Michael Bryant, St. Lawrence; Jeanette Cummins, St. Raphael; Carlos Espinoza, Immaculate Conception; Andy Heinsohn, Holy Trinity; Joan Heinsohn, Holy Trinity; David Hileman, Epiphany; Melinda Hileman, Epiphany; Josh Huff, Trinity High School; Jim Lincoln, St. Athanasius; Laura Martin, Blessed Teresa of Calcutta; Mike McKinley, St. Gabriel; Jeanne McKinley, St. Gabriel; Bill Nall, All Saints’ Taylorsville; Amanda Newman, Immaculate Conception; Jessica Newman, Immaculate Conception; Kevin Powers, St. Raphael; Tessa Ramsey, St. Bernadette; Samantha Risen, St. Michael; Terry Snodgress, St. Lawrence; Deborah Stakelum, St. Bernadette; and Mary Margaret Young, Ascension.