How Did It Begin?
The Parish Missionary Intern program started in 2013 under the direction of then Director of Evangelization, Joshua Johnson. The idea behind the missionary intern program was to approach leadership of youth faith formation programs as a collaboration between parish volunteers and a missionary intern who could facilitate the coordination of all aspects of a particular faith formation program.
The program begins its 7th year, with a team of three young adults serving at the parish: Ronan Ostendorf, Bethany Szamocki, and Alexandra Shipley.
The parish’s current Director of Evangelization, Sister Maria Caeli, directs all elements of the Parish Missionary Intern program, oversees the development and facilitation of the Youth Faith Formation programs (Ignite High School Group, Sparks Middle School Group, Teen Confirmation Preparation, Fidelis and Fraternus), along with coordinating Adult Faith Formation opportunities in the parish.
What Is the Purpose of the Missionary Intern Program?
- To model a missionary spirit for the parish, participating in our goal of creating a culture of Evangelical Catholicism
- To build relationships, mentor, and disciple youth and young adults, fostering Christ-center friendships through the parish’s existing faith formation programs
- Coordinate and develop the youth and young adult parish programs, in collaboration with adult parish volunteers, focusing on encouraging parish youth and young adults to invite the un-evangelized into a relationship with Christ.
- Provide valuable spiritual, personal and career growth in a thriving parish for young adults who are discerning their primary vocation, missionary work, and a potential path in youth or lay parish ministry.
How Do The Missionaries Serve?
A missionary intern’s week will include, but is not limited to, the following ministerial expectations and responsibilities:
- Daily Mass and daily personal prayer time
- Weekly administrative work in the parish office
- On-going administrative planning and leadership responsibilities for youth or young adult program coordination (including all program aspects from intentional investment in youth & volunteers, year-long curriculum planning, marketing and communication, retreat planning and facilitation, collaboration with fellow missionaries, volunteers and Director of Evangelization)
- Parish staff meetings, weekly missionary team meetings, bi-weekly individual meetings with supervisor (Director of Evangelization)
- Facilitation of the Wednesday evening, Sunday morning and evening youth programs, and/or facilitating the Young Adult program.
- Participation in Sunday Hospitality
- Rotation of “Open Youth Center” hours – being available for fellowship, mentorship and witnessing to parish and community youth.
- Weekly team and household community time to encourage a healthy team dynamic and Christ-centered friendship among the missionary interns.
What is the Financial Cost to the Parish?
The cost is roughly $10,000/missionary intern. This helps cover the cost of the necessary expenses for each missionary to live in Bremerton and serve at the parish for one academic year.
- Missionary interns are provided with parish housing, a monthly stipend (given in scrip) for personal expenses such as food, personal items, activities; use of parish vehicles for parish activities; stipend for monthly team outing.
- Parish covers the cost of travel for the start and end of the missionary’s year of service, along with round-trip travel for Christmas break.
What Formation Do Missionaries Receive?
A missionary intern’s on-going formation during the year he or she serves at Our Lady Star of the Sea focuses on these areas:
Missionary Interns grow spiritually through:
- Daily Mass and regular reception of the Sacrament of Penance
- Eucharistic Holy Hours/daily prayer time (individually & as a team)
- Opportunity for Spiritual Direction
- Theological formation through parish missions, personal retreats, spiritual reading
- Missionaries are strongly encouraged to attend Lenten Stations of the Cross, Vianney Cenacle, and Advent & Lenten Missions.
Missionary Interns grow professionally through:
- Administrative work in parish office
- Weekly tactical/collaborative meetings fellow missionary interns and Director of Evangelization
- Bi-weekly individual meetings with Director of Evangelization: focusing on program development and troubleshooting obstacles, personal & program goals, collaboration with volunteers/teammates, semester evaluations, overall success as a missionary intern
- Administrative planning, coordination and leadership of designated parish programs
Missionary Interns grow personally through:
- Fellowship & recreation time with their missionary teammates, parishioners, as well as other young adults involved in ministry
- Days off (normally Mondays & Saturdays) are opportunities for recreation, fellowship and personal time.
- Missionaries are encouraged to participate in Sunday Hospitality, the Lenten Fish Fry, and any parish or school community events to foster relationships with parish families. A missionary’s visible witness to the parish is an important aspect of this internship opportunity.
- Personal mentorship by a member of the parish (opportunity for learning from someone who will offer encouragement, support, accountability and friendship for the missionary during his or her year of service.