#5: Joe Hopkins
Joe Hopkins is the Director of Adult Formation for Mission in the Diocese of Nottingham, England. Joe spent two years in university ministry, then eight years as a high school chaplain before taking on his current position, which includes the Christus Vivat young adult ministry among many other responsibilities.
We discuss the challenge of “restarting” after pandemic lockdowns, Joe’s role doing “spade work” as he calls it—that is, the logistical leg work required to make anything happen—the four critical ingredients in the recipe for starting a new Young adult group, the importance of providing community opportunities for people after they "age out” of young adult years, and more.
#4: Robert Wines
Tenleytown, Washington DC
Robert Wines is the leader of The Ark young adult group at St. Ann parish in Washington, DC. He’s been running it for nearly two years while maintaining a full-time 9-5 Job. After college and a year of service with the Saint John Society, Robert and a close friend wanted to get into Young adult ministry in a big way.
We discuss the founding of the group, how the Ark leverages the Alpha program, the “Call, Form, Send” mantra of the Saint John Society, the benefits of a set repeating curriculum and small groups, and the importance of keeping God as the center no matter what.
#3: Kenn Demoll
Kenn Demoll is the director of the Youth and Young Adult ministry at St. John Catholic Church in Westminster, Maryland. He is a convert to the faith, and was called to ministry after college while thinking about becoming a police officer.
We discuss the challenge of “restarting” a young adult ministry, drawing in and retaining people, the importance of relationships, the grand vision of young adult ministry, how to help a priest get a ministry going, how to avoid the atmosphere of a desperate social/singles club, and more.
#2: Chris Mueller
Holy Family Young Adults
Chris Mueller is the Coordinator of Adult Discipleship at Holy Family Catholic Church in Jacksonville, Florida, a thriving parish with a strong young adult presence that is, frankly, astounding to hear about in our era.
We discuss the ins and outs of the ministry including how Chris developed it over time, some failures he encountered early on, his approach to leading teams, and his powerful vision for what young adult life can look like in a parish. We also talk about Discipleship Communities, where small, committed groups join together to share the rhythms of Catholic life.
#1: Joe Vicario
In addition to his day job designing hearing aid batteries, Joe Vicario is the co-founder of Cleveland’s largest young adult group, called Catching Fire, which meets weekly for discussions and draws anywhere from fifty to ninety people.
We discuss the founding of Catching Fire, the challenges of growth and mission, some practical strategies for managing a large group, and the danger of pride creeping in.