BERLIN — St. Paul Church in Kensington is reaching out to the youth in the community with a new parish member this fall.
“At mass, we distributed an orange card asking for a yes or no on a new youth minister,” explained Father Robert, the pastor at St. Paul Church, “and people overwhelmingly voted to commit resources for a Youth Ministry.”
Starting Sunday, Sept. 11, the church, which serves over 3,000 families, will introduce the Berlin Catholic Youth Ministry.
The ministry will be led by new Youth Minister John Imbimbo.
The parish-wide survey earlier this year found that reaching out to youth was the top priority within the community. The church then began a nationwide search for their next youth minister, one that took them to the Franciscan University of Steubenville in Ohio. It was there that they met John Imbimbo, a theology and history major and student of Catholic theologian Scott Hahn.
Imbimbo, who is originally from Newtown, was excited to see friendly faces from Connecticut and was interested in their plans to start a new youth ministry program. After a series of interviews, he was hired as the parish’s new youth minister, and has spent the summer building a foundation for the new program and assembling a group of volunteers.
“It takes some volunteers that are committed to the youth of the parish, that are willing to be part of these kids’ lives, to walk with them to be more active in their faith and the church community,” Imbimbo said.
In addition to activities and events at the church, youth within the ministry will also service the town and the surrounding community, with the possibility for retreats in the future. The program is initially starting with a middle school youth ministry, with plans to add a high school youth ministry afterwards.
“Youth ministry is all about relationships; those kids after those meetings will know that every single person on that core team cares about them,” said Father Robert.
From his studies at Steubenville, to attending the Youth Ministry Training Conference earlier this summer, Imbimbo is ready to begin his work with the community.
“When the opportunity was presented to me I was really excited,” he said, “and I knew it was going to be a challenge, starting a new youth ministry, and I want to continue giving the best that I have.”
The team members of the Berlin Catholic Youth Ministry will introduce themselves to the parish after masses during the weekend of Sept. 10, with a larger kickoff event on Sunday, Oct. 16.
Those interested in the new youth ministry can contact John Imbimbo at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 860-828-0331 ext. 114.