A Heart for Ministry — By Ben Struemph

STRUEMPH-BEN

I’m from Jefferson City, Missouri, where I attended Helias Catholic High School. I am an only child, but I have a lot of cousins who I am close with. My parents, from a young age, instilled in me the importance of hard work and the value of a dollar. They also showed me the importance of getting to know the people around me. These skills have led me on a great journey that I will be sharing with you.

Throughout high school and most of college, I wanted to be an athletic trainer. This is the career path that I pursued during my time as an undergraduate at William Woods University in Fulton, Missouri. I graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Athletic Training and Exercise Science in 2015. I then thought I wanted to become a business owner, focusing on sports medicine, so I went on to get my Master of Business Administration in Entrepreneurial Leadership. I just graduated this past May with that degree.

In my heart, I always had a place for youth ministry. I grew up around Teens Encounter Christ (TEC), so I knew that I wanted to at least be involved in helping within the parish. Throughout high school and college, I was involved with Christpower and other types of retreats. The Church has always been a place where I feel at home.

Throughout my later years of my undergraduate and in my master’s program, I started to feel some distance between myself and the Church. I was still going to Mass on Sundays, but I just started to feel a disconnect. Shortly thereafter, I went to the Newman Center. This was what brought me back into the community of faith. I felt like what Fr. Rich was saying spoke to me and was very relevant to where I was in my faith journey.

After this experience, I knew that the Newman Center would always have a special place in my heart. Once I found out that there was an opening, I knew that I would like to serve the Newman Center and help teens deepen their faith.

I have been the Youth Minister for just under a month, and I have loved every minute of it. I have been preparing for the different programs we offer, and I have also strengthened my faith along the way. I could not ask for a better place to further my career.

I could not have gotten here without the support of my parents and the rest of my family. We have always been a faith-filled family. We have had some hardships along the way, but it has been our faith that has gotten us out of it.