Strong Foundations for Pastoral Leaders Program

June 17-21, 2019

The Strong Foundations for Pastoral Leaders Program offers focused support for young lay leaders who have recently begun their professional service in the Church. The program addresses the unique challenges that face young ministers and provides them with the resources, guidance and support they need to thrive and find sustainable success in their ministry.

The program consists of two one-week conferences held during consecutive summers at the University of Notre Dame. During the week, participants receive professional and pastoral development, financial and career planning, and personal and relational support. Participants also meet with a mentor-minister dedicated to support, challenge and accompany them for the duration of the program and for at least two years after the program's completion.

The typical cohort consists of fifteen young lay leaders who have already completed formal training for ministry in the Church and who are still in the first few years of their ministry. This program, fully funded and underwritten by the McGrath Institute for Church Life at the University of Notre Dame with the support of a generous grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., provides lodging and meals on campus during the week-long conference. 

Participants

Baker Christopher

Christopher M. Baker

Current Job:
Director of Operations

Email:
baker2347@gmail.com

Ministry:
Partnering with parishes to create communities of young adults who live as intentional disciples of Jesus Christ.

Passion:
Preparing as many people as possible for the spiritual battle that we are all a part of by preaching the full Gospel at all times and equipping them with the spiritual weapons we have as Catholics to fight this battle and participate in the victory of Jesus Christ.

One sentence that expresses what you have learned in this experience:
"From my time on campus for this program as well as within my conversations with other participants and with my mentors, I have learned how powerfully God is working at this time in history to draw those who are willing to strive after Him together to align them for the mission at hand – to win as many souls for Christ as possible through the various ministries to which we have all been called."

 

Coughlin Jenna

Jenna Coughlin

Current Job:
Group Support Manager

Email:
jenna.r.coughlin@gmail.com

Ministry:
Through working with youth and young adult leaders and in teamwork with my coworkers, help create opportunities for young people to open their hearts to the grace of God through the experience of pilgrimage. 

One sentence that expresses what you have learned in this experience:
"Between my experience at Notre Dame within the context of the Strong Foundations week and interacting with the other participants, as well as through speaking with my mentors, I have learned to go forward with much greater confidence in my particular ministry and in the mission of evangelization that we all share."

 

Del Real Vicente

Vicente Del Real

Current Job:
Director of Iskali

Email:
vicente@iskali.org

Ministry:
My ministry is with young adults mainly in the Latino community, and  my passion is the empowerment of young leaders to live purpose driven lives that can lead to create positive change in the world inspire and rooted in Jesus and his message.

One sentence that expresses what you have learned in this experience:
"My participation in Strong Foundations, has created a support system, to support my ministry, but most important to enrich and confirm my own vocation."

 

Ductram Peter

Peter J. Ductrám

Current Job:
Archdiocesan Director, Institute for Lay Ecclesial Ministry and Service

Email:
peter.ductram@archsa.org

Ministry:
I currently oversee all formation processes of the Archdiocese of San Antonio. The Institute is tasked to provide comprehensive formation to those called to serve in the ministry of the Word, ministry of the Liturgy, and ministry of Service and Communion.

Passion:
Formation is my passion! A formation that honors people’s experiences, that facilitates dialogue, that create sacred spaces for encountering each other, that elicits the active presence of the Spirit, that accompanies all God’s people.

One sentence that expresses what you have learned in this experience:
"I have learned that the Church is witnessing a new wave of prayerful leaders who, within their diversity of ministries, cultures, talents, stories, experiences are transforming the local church one day at the time. It is truly inspiring!"

 

Fox Ashley

Ashley Sheridan Fox

Current Job:
Southeastern U.S. Regional Director for the Magis Center - Credible Catholic

Email:
ashley@hopeinlove.org

Ministry:
Ashley specializes in parent catechesis, media production, mentoring catechists, streamlining diocesan and parish programs, inculturating the gospel to diverse communities, and integrating science, reason, and faith.

One sentence that expresses what you have learned in this experience:
"My mentors, along with the camaraderie of the fellow group members, have had a lasting impact on my perspective of ministry. Never shall we embark upon ministry alone, siloed, pent up, or isolated. Ministry is when the body of Christ comes together and not only gives to the outside world, but more importantly, to each other."


 

Henry Stephanie

Stephanie Henry

Current Job:
Family Support Specialist

Email:
s0henr01@gmail.com

Ministry:
Youth/Young Adult/African-American Ministry

One sentence that expresses what you have learned in this experience:
"My time at ND is definitely one to remember in less than 5 days I've managed to befriend other young adults across the nation who have had an everlasting impact on my faith journey. The speakers from the workshops, Strong Foundation staff and my new found friends have equipped me with great tools I need to grow in my ministry and life as well. I am also blessed to have the opportunity to have top-notch mentor such as Bob McCarty and Joe Perdreauville to guide me as I have recently began my tenure as the Vice-President of the National African American Youth and Young Adult Ministry Network as a result of being a Strong Foundation participant."  

 

Laynez Elsie

Elsie Laynez

Current Job:
Bilingual Religious Group Tour Coordinator

Email:
eclaynez@gmail.com

Ministry:
Young Adults and Hispanic Community (Pastoral Council, Schoenstatt Rosary Campaign coordindator, Extraordinary Minister of Holy Communion, Perpetual Adorer, ACTS Movement volunteer, Facilitator for Catechetics Modules in Spanish, and volunteer with young adults through retreats and praise and worship.)

Passion:
My passion is working with young adults. I feel so humbled when I can serve them and witness how they open their hearts to God. I love praying with God’s people through praise and worship.

One sentence that expresses what you have learned in this experience:
"Through the tools given and my remarkable mentors that are walking with me in this journey, I have learned, first hand, the importance of leaders empowering others in our Church and society so they can know and answer to God’s calling, discover and share their gifts, and become witnesses of Christ in their professions, communities, and families."

 

Martin Gyta

Gyta Martin

Current Job:
Co-owner/Funeral Director-H.M. Martin Funeral Home, INC

Email:
gcrg23@gmail.com

Ministry:
I primarily work with youth and young adult ministry and the African American Catholic community.

One sentence that expresses what you have learned in this experience:
"I have learn so much from this program. I have gain so much knowledge and support from the mentors that will last a lifetime in my career and personal life. The biggest and best thing that I have gained being apart of this program is going on this journey with others. My fellow cohorts are the best. We encourage each other, give great advise and praying all the time for each other."

 

Mayrand Nick

Nick Mayrand

Current job:
Journalism Intern at Crux and PhD candidate at the University of Dayton

Email:
mayrandnick@gmail.com

Ministry:
I try to live as a compelling witness to the Gospel in whatever I do. These days, that primarily seems to involve daily family/community life and lots and lots of writing!

One sentence that expresses what you have learned in this experience:
"This program has shown me that there are as many ways to serve the church as there are people who are willing to serve, and that these dynamic, inspiring ministries are evidence that the Spirit is moving in the US church at a time when it can be difficult to see that reality."

 

Nalus Enriquez Renne

Renne Nalus Enriquez

Current Job:
Youth Minister

Email:
renne7enriquez7@gmail.com

Ministry:
Youth Minister for  St Thomas More Catholic Church in Irvine CA

 

 

Noel Marie

Marie Mirlande Noel

Current Job:
Pastoral Associate/Director of Religious Education

Email:
mnoel@stclaresi.com

Ministry:
My ministry is to share the faith with others and nothing gives me greater joy than that.

One sentence that expresses what you have learned in this experience:
"I learned so much but one of the things that stay with me the most is that, I should make us of God's creation to design and improve not only my life but the lives of those I encounter."

 

Salinas Joshua

Joshua Salinas

Current Job:
High School Teacher

Email:
joshua.salinas20@icloud.com

Ministry:
Youth and Young Adult Ministry

One sentence that expresses what you have learned in this experience:
"Notre Dame’s Strong Foundations for Pastoral Leaders program offers an opportunity for engagement with peers and mentors who challenge, invest, and encourage wholistic development for pastoral leaders in all areas of church ministry. This program as inspired a new vigor and approach towards continued personal, spiritual and professional investment and development while shifting the dynamic in which ministry is approached."

 

Sandoval Katrina

Karina Sandoval

Current Job:
Stewardship Coordinator for the Foundation for the Diocese of El Paso

Email:
ksandoval@elpasodiocese.org

Ministry:
Karina provides training for parishes in need of stewardship practices, communicates a stewardship way of life throughout the diocese and develops diocesan activities to Catholics in the faith life of their parish communities.  

Passion:
Karina loves to promote Catholic faith messaging through media communications, she is passionate about the topics of ignatian spirituality and mental health practices.

One sentence that expresses what you have learned in this experience:
Karina was amazed and grateful to know that ND is interested to invest in young catholic professionals, she rejoiced to meet other young professionals that have devoted their lives to work for God and learned to practice the virtue of perseverance when Catholic professional work gets difficult.

 

Smith Victoria Radleigh

Victoria Radleigh Smith

Current Job:
Director of Mission Integration, National Conference for Catechetical Leadership (NCCL)

Email:
Vradleigh@nccl.org

Ministry:
Catechesis and evangelization, accompaniment, youth ministry, faith formation

One sentence that expresses what you have learned in this experience:
"The Strong Foundations for Pastoral Leaders program has better prepared me for my current position, and equipped me for life-long ministry within the Church.  Everything is designed with our professional and spiritual development in mind. This program places an emphasis on relationships and ensures that participants are mentored and accompanied throughout the process."