Hello, and welcome to Ascension’s youth ministry blog! Since most of you haven’t met me yet, I’ll start by saying a little bit about myself. My name’s Hanna Crooks, and I’m thrilled to be serving as Youth Minister here at Ascension! I graduated from Sacred Heart in 2011, and from the University of Notre Dame in December 2015 with a degree in Theology and Spanish. I worked this past spring as Interim Youth Minister at Holy Trinity, the parish that I grew up in. My interests include playing guitar, writing poetry, and searching for new sci-fi shows to watch on Netflix.
Studying theology at Notre Dame was valuable in many ways, but I think the most important thing that it taught me was how intimately what we believe is tied to how we serve. Take, for example, the Trinity. British theologian Graham Tomlin discusses something our Church has taught for a long time: that being made in the image of God means being in society:
Belief in the Trinity tells us to invest in relationships. Have you ever wondered what was there before we existed? What was there before creation itself? If there was just a single, non-Trinitarian God on his own, then at the beginning of all things, there was no relationship. And if there was no relationship, there was no love because you can only have love where there’s a relationship. But the doctrine of the Trinity states that before the creation of the world there was relationship and love between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. They were bound together in this perfect unity of love. And that places relationships and love at the heart of the universe.
Because I believe in the Trinitarian God, and because I believe that each one of us is made in his image, I am committed to building relationships and building community among our youth. That means both serving them and teaching them to serve others. I’m still getting to know the youth at this parish, but from everything I’ve heard I can tell that they have some incredible gifts. My goal is to help them develop those gifts and empower them to live as disciples in the many communities to which they belong.
Over the course of the next few days, I’ll be telling you more about the ministries that I have planned. For now, I encourage you to check out our page on the parish website, as well as our Facebook and Instagram pages.