Sports and Scouting Coordinator
More than a decade of coaching experience (soccer, basketball, baseball) of youth and Special Olympians at the recreational, CYO and travel levels. In addition, Jim has worked for more than two decades in the areas of student leadership and school leadership. He has worked on several books articulating the importance of collaborative leadership among principals, teachers and students in the school setting. He has managed national programs related to student leadership and encouraging “traditional” student leaders and their advisers to systematically involve the entire student population—with the input of “non-traditional” leaders—in developing and executing school and community-building initiatives and service.
In this current position since: January 2014
Job description includes:
Among the responsibilities of Jim’s role are to assist our outstanding coaching and scouting volunteers as they encourage youth to use their God given gifts to strengthen their faith and to serve God’s will as they discover the path to which He calls them. In addition to being an active participant in the leadership of the Northern Virginia Junior Catholic Youth Organization and the Catholic Committee on Scouting, Jim will be a resource to parishes across the Diocese, assisting them in promoting active scouting and sports programs. He is eager to systematically foster existing relationships and help create new ones between Directors of Youth Ministry and individual adult scouting leaders and coaches who can and do have such a profound evangelizing impact on our youngest.
Favorite Food(s): Meat and potatoes guy with a more than occasional interest in pizza and Central American and Mexican fare.
Favorite Band: Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band
Favorite Pastime: Hiking, camping and traveling to places I’ve never been and being immersed in cultures where I have no experience…proving the importance of finding common ground, often without a language to support you.
Favorite Saint: St. Patrick, St. Francis of Assisi… what is seemingly so simple can have profound reach
Favorite Scripture: Luke 12:48 , Vigilant and Faithful Servants
“Much will be required of the person entrusted with much, and still more will be demanded of the person entrusted with more.”
Favorite Book: I haven’t revisited it forever but in high school I was drawn to some of the messages in Mila 18 about the Warsaw Ghetto and the gritty and disturbing struggles entailed in resisting and fighting evil. Visiting the Ghetto shortly after John Paul II had ordered placement of a plaque commemorating the site of a synagogue destroyed by that evil was especially memorable as my visit was in the aftermath of the fall of the Berlin Wall and the long struggle against communism. His compassion, life, and personal Evangelization in the epic struggles of the 20th century can be instructive to youth and adults alike.
Why I work in Youth Ministry
Youth are not only the future but the present. Their energy, idealism and insights, if properly understood and guided will help us realize the fullness of the joy that the Lord can bring. Each of us, as adults, have a responsibility to find ways to guide them on their journey. To have witnessed so many youth leaders who have accomplished so much in their young lives is truly inspirational and more than a bit humbling. We have much to learn from youth and one of the key ways to help more of them to become inspirational leaders in their faith life is to systematically encourage them to undertake the small acts and journeys in their daily lives. The lessons to be found in sports and scouting are not only outstanding entry points for discussions with youth about faith and living it daily but also provide non-traditional avenues for evangelization.
From kindergarten through college, diocesan Catholic schools, the Benedictines, and the Jesuits have helped me to realize the importance of my faith in my relationship with God, my peers, and my community. That grounding has always provided comfort and a foundation for appropriate and thoughtful interactions with those holding different beliefs. Our faith calls us to share Christ’s message. To do so requires each of us to constantly look at our own lives and see what we can do differently in our daily lives that might encourage others to see one of our actions as examples to emulate. One act by one individual may not make the difference but by showing how our group, our team, our pack may just be a little different than another may be just enough to introduce someone to a lifelong relationship with Christ. As a father of three wonderful children, a husband of a wife who devotes her life to public service and youth coaching, and as a coach or assistant coach of many teams over the years I have been provided with many opportunities to provide examples. Some of those opportunities I have seized…my hope is to seize more and to help coaches and scout leaders to prayerfully consider and analyze those opportunities and seize them more systematically as they arise.