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Matt Lucas wrote:

Hi, guys —

My name is Matthew. I am 18 and in my final year of High School. I have been raised in the Southern United States in the Baptist church and since the age of 15 I have been trained directly under our church's pastor and youth pastor to become the future youth pastor.

This has been my intention for my life's career, however I have come to accept the Catholic Church as the One True Church founded by Jesus and the Apostles. My mother has refused to take me to a Catholic Church to speak to a priest directly. My questions are:

  • Does the Catholic Church employ youth pastors in a similar way to the Baptist church?
  • Can Youth Ministers marry?
  • Is there anything I can do about not being able to reach a Catholic Church for an official conversion?

Obviously my life is sort of flipped upside down now, but God will provide a way, I'm sure.

Matt Lucas

  { How does a Baptist interested in becoming Catholic handle family and can Youth Ministers marry? }

Bob replied:

Matt,

Sorry for your troubles; it's not easy to go a different way than family or community but you are a credit to your parents because you think for yourself.

To answer your questions, yes, there are some parishes that employ Youth Ministers; others can't afford them but Youth Ministers are not formally ordained and take no vows preventing marriage.

It generally is a good job for a young, single person but not very lucrative for supporting a family so, long term, other income would be advisable.

I did it full time years ago when I was first married and it was fine because my wife was also working. Later, I became a full time Music Director for a parish and now make a good living.
I still do youth events but generally on a volunteer basis.

I'm sure a good Catholic parish would love to hire a person like yourself for their Youth Ministry because your Baptist roots would enhance your ability to help kids to conversion to Christ in a personal way.

Often a great shortfall we have as Catholics is focusing on the academic side of faith while focusing too little on the personal encounter with Jesus. Your background might predispose you toward bridging the two dynamics in a good way.

Blessings to you,

Bob Kirby
[Related posting, and a good read]

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