Welcome Kevin O’Connell
For the past several months, you have heard me speak about our calling to be Intentional Disciples of Jesus Christ. We only need to look around to quickly recognize that how a person becomes Catholic and remains Catholic has changed profoundly in the past twenty years. Intentional Discipleship is what happens when we have a culture in which all Catholics consciously see themselves as disciples of Jesus Christ living according to his will as apostles sent into the world to proclaim him to others. What is the process of becoming an intentional disciple? There are five stages (initial trust, spiritual curiosity, spiritual openness, spiritual seeking, and intentional discipleship) that lead to four pillars of living one’s faith (hospitality, prayer, faith formation and service). The journey to intentional discipleship is being embraced by many parishes with a variety of strategies and opportunities. I want all of us to be intentional disciples! To assist us on this journey, staff and parish councils and I have been engaged in nearly a year-long study about what it means to be intentional disciples. It’s abundantly clear that an endeavor such as this requires someone to direct this endeavor. With the support of the Parish Trustees and a search committee, we began looking for the right person to implement the New Evangelization that Pope Francis, Pope Benedict and Pope Saint John Paul II have frequently spoken of. This person is the Director of Discipleship. A person who is an intentional disciple, the Director of Discipleship will oversee our evangelization efforts, building on the strong tradition of our communities, continuing our mission to be dynamic, faith-filled, growing Catholic parishes. I am happy to share that Kevin O’Connell has accepted the position of Director of Discipleship. Kevin comes to us from the Chicago area where he served for the past fourteen years as a parish Director of High School and Jr. High Youth Ministry, developing one of the most successful youth ministries in the Chicago Archdiocese. Kevin received his Bachelor of Arts in Theology with a minor in Philosophy from Franciscan University of Steubenville. Speaking about discipleship, Kevin said, “In recent years my heart and extra time has been turned toward assisting our ministries to be convicted of the need to offer the members of the parish a focus on personal encounter with Jesus, opening up to a dynamic relationship with him, and embracing a commitment to live a true life in Christ.” Please join me in welcoming Kevin to Holy Trinity and Historic Saint Patrick’s. Kevin will begin serving our two communities on August 1.