I am incredibly excited to welcome our new Youth Ministry Coordinator, Chris Smith. Chris joins our staff with years of experience in ministry and youth work, both in Catholic schools and parishes. He'll be around on Sunday mornings, so come introduce yourself and welcome him to our community here at SJA!
peace, Rose Aspholm
And here is Chris in his own words:
I am excited to be a part of the vibrant and welcoming community at the Saint Joan of Arc Catholic Community as the youth ministry coordinator. I look forward to working with youth, parents, and staff to strive toward making SJA “a visible, progressive Catholic community, compassionate and welcoming to all.”
My wife, Lynn, and I have been married for 27 years. We have three children: Joey, 24, a graduate of Concordia University St. Paul who lives in Rochester, MN and works at Go Route; Emma, 23, a graduate of the University of St. Thomas and current graduate student in Urban Education at Metropolitan State University; and Grace, 18, a freshman at Augsburg University.
I most recently taught middle religion and social studies at St. Rose of Lima Catholic School in Roseville, MN. Previous to my time at St. Rose, I served as the principal at Holy Spirit Catholic School in Rochester. Before becoming a principal, I taught religion at St. Mary’s School in Owatonna. While working as a Catholic school religion teacher, I also served for many years as a junior high faith formation director and youth minister as well as the coordinator of the 9th grade faith formation program. Before teaching at St. Mary’s, I taught 8th grade history at St. Michael Albertville Middle School for 2 years and Global Studies at Owatonna Junior High School for 8 years.
After growing up on a dairy farm and graduating from Medford High School, I earned a degree in History and a secondary social studies teaching license from the University of St. Thomas. Early in my teaching career, I earned a Master of Arts in Education from Saint Mary’s University. When I began teaching religion at St. Mary’s School, I desired a deeper knowledge of the Catholic faith and earned a Certificate of Pastoral Studies from Saint Mary’s University through the Institute of Lay Ministry. Seven years ago, I entered the Mary Ann Remick Leadership Program at the University of Notre Dame and graduated in 2016 with a Masters in Educational Leadership.
I enjoy spending time with my family, baking, reading, walking, exploring the great outdoors, and investigating historical people, places, and events.
I am excited to begin this new chapter of life at Saint Joan of Arc, trusting in God that, together, we will continue to grow together as the people God created us to be.