Together with Bishop Schlert, several Priests, campus ministers, teachers, and other diocesan educators attended “Campus Ministry Beyond the Campus Minister,” a workshop designed to give high school campus ministry teams both practical tools and faith-based inspiration to ensure their success.
The workshop was provided by Live Vertical, a nonprofit whose mission is “to help create cultures of evangelization and missionary discipleship in parish and school congregations.” The Springfield, Pennsylvania, -based organization is partnering with the Diocese of Allentown to offer formation and support to our high school campus ministry programs.
“The zealous enthusiasm of the Live Vertical team gives me hope for the Church’s future,” said Father Bernard Ezaki, President of Catholic Mission and Identity at Bethlehem Catholic High School.
Live Vertical prioritizes developing students’ relationships with Jesus Christ as the basis for changing and renewing the culture of a student body and a school.
The August 17 workshop, held at St. Mary’s Church, Kutztown, focused on three areas: the meaning and mechanics of evangelization, the importance of prayer to the campus minister’s relationship with God, and practical tools and strategies to build a ministry team. Mass and Adoration were also included.
“A lot of Campus ministers get discouraged and feel like they are on an island all by themselves,” said Allentown Central Catholic High School Theology Chair Kathleen Rasley. “Live Vertical provides campus ministers with what they need to help to build the team around them.”
Representatives of all six diocesan high schools were in attendance, as well as members of the diocesan Office of Education and Office of Evangelization and Formation.
Marian Catholic High School, Tamaqua, was the site of Live Vertical’s pilot program.
“Marian Catholic is entering its fourth year working with this team and it was very exciting to see just how far our evangelization team has developed over the last few years,” said Mary Matunis, Theology Teacher at Marian Catholic.
Live Vertical will be accompanying each of our high school ministry leaders throughout the academic year, bolstering their evangelizing and helping them build leadership teams and increase student involvement.
Fr. Matthew Kuna, Chaplain of Berks Catholic High School, Reading, is optimistic about the partnership. “We want to build a culture of encounter and evangelization within our school, where students and teachers alike come to know and love Jesus Christ and strengthen their relationship with His Church. Is it a big task? Yes, and Live Vertical is giving us great tools to accomplish it. Our team left this recent workshop very hope-filled and excited.