September 28, 2018

Relationships mark the heart of youth minister’s story

By John Shaughnessy

As a journalism teacher at Roncalli High School in Indianapolis, Julie Albertson encourages her students to find the essence of the story.

So what is the heart of the story about Albertson, this year’s recipient of the archdiocese’s Youth Ministry Servant Leader of the Year Award?

The story begins five years ago when Albertson felt “the call of the Holy Spirit pushing” her to go deeper in her faith—a call that eventually led the teacher, wife and mother of four to make the added commitment of being the youth minister at St. Mark the Evangelist Parish in Indianapolis.

“Things can get crazy schedule-wise,” she says. “I try to spend every morning in prayer, studying the Bible and learning more about the Church. And I make sure my husband and my family don’t feel they are second place in regard to my professions. When I have that balance, my life feels like it’s flourishing.”

So does her ministry.

“I feel very called to form strong relationships, not just with the young people but with their families. To be a positive role model for them, and have them not be afraid to form relationships with God and the Church that I love. I’ve been able to enter into people’s stories, and I love that.”

Here’s the story Albertson wants people to know about connecting with youths in matters of life and faith.

“With teenagers, one must be completely authentic. I find I need to study a lot, to examine and question a lot because that’s what teenagers are naturally doing. I want to be in a position to answer their questions, and sometimes to find those answers together.

“The respect we have for each other and the love we have for each other grows as we experience life together. It’s easy to love them and see the amazing qualities that God has put in each one of them.” †

 

Related story: ‘We’re all called to be teachers,’ Archbishop Thompson says

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