March 13, 2009

Kay Scoville named director of archdiocesan youth ministry

By John Shaughnessy

Kay ScovilleAs the new director of youth ministry for the archdiocese, Kay Scoville always has two important reminders of why it is so crucial for the Church to encourage and develop the faith of young people.

She gets those reminders whenever she looks at her teenaged sons, Stephen, 18, and Nick, 15.

Another reminder comes when she recalls a young woman who blossomed in her faith during a retreat as a high school senior, a young woman who returned to help lead the retreat the following year because of the difference it made in her life.

“We can see the changes in their hearts if we just let the little things take hold so God can make a difference in their lives,” says Scoville, who had served as the program coordinator of youth ministry in the archdiocese for the past three years. “Sometimes, all they want or need to hear is that God loves them.”

Scoville succeeds Father Jonathan Meyer, who had divided his time between leading the youth ministry office and serving in parish ministry since he was ordained in 2003. He now serves as the administrator of St. Anne and St. Joseph parishes in Jennings County.

“I’d like to thank Father Meyer for the energy and commitment he has brought to the youth ministry office for the past six years,” said Archbishop Daniel M. Buechlein in announcing the leadership change.

The archbishop also paid tribute to Scoville’s contributions in the youth ministry office.

“During the past three years, Kay has been responsible for coordinating the many archdiocesan youth events each year, including youth retreats, National Catholic Youth Conference, World Youth Day and the Homeland Mission service project,” the archbishop noted.

Scoville complimented Father Meyer for his leadership and inspiration.

“Having Father Meyer as a mentor for the past three years, I’ve grown in my faith,” she said. “Just his passion to bring the truth to the youth has inspired me to continue the mission.”

She is humbled and excited by the opportunity to lead youth ministry.

“It’s a great time to be in youth ministry,” Scoville said. “I think our Church really embraces the youth, and they realize they’re our key to the future. I’m seeing more resources and opportunities becoming available to help them. Our Church is really focused on them.”

The focus is crucial, she believes. It’s important for increasing vocations to the priesthood and religious life. It’s also needed because young people are at a vulnerable stage of their lives.

“Adolescence isn’t getting any easier,” said Scoville, a member of St. Simon the Apostle Parish in Indianapolis, who has been married for 20 years to Scott Scoville. “If anything, it’s getting more challenging. We need to be there for them.

“The biggest thing I’ve learned is that we are all examples to our young people, and they are watching us all the time. If we are good Christian role models, that speaks volumes to them. I’ve also learned that you have to be real. The youth can detect someone who’s not real or genuine in a heartbeat.”

She constantly seeks to keep that connection. On her desk, she keeps a note from a young person as a reminder of how she needs to be there for youths.

In part, the note reads, “I hope you know how incredibly amazing you are. You glorify God in all you do.”

Scoville has the same regard for young people.

“They’re so creative and wonderful,” she said. “We just want them to be themselves. I love to see them get excited about their faith.”

(For more information about the archdiocesan Office of Youth Ministry, log on to

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