Youth Apostles

Name of Congregation: Youth Apostles

Active or contemplative: Active 

What is the timeframe your congregation has served the Diocese of Arlington?
  1979 to present

What type of ministry does your congregation carry out in the Diocese of Arlington? 

Our ministries have included parish youth ministry, campus ministry, and ministry at the Don Bosco Center in Manassas; in the Office of Youth, Campus and Young Adult Ministries; administration at the San Damiano Spiritual Life Center; presentations on “The Gift of Human Sexuality”; opportunities for youth participation in pro-life contests; monthly youth ministry seminars; 8th grade Confirmation retreats at our McLean Center. 

Describe the charism of your congregation:

Youth Apostles, a mixed public association erected in the Diocese of Arlington, has been founded with the ultimate purpose of inspiring youth to a Christ-like life based on the Lord's sacrificial love. We desire to be of one heart and one mind-one community of men composed of single, married, consecrated laymen, and consecrated clerics. We are united through a particular promise to a deep spiritual life, strong communal life, and common apostolic service of youth.

The focus of our apostolic service is parish youth ministry, campus ministry, and ministry at the Don Bosco Center. We have three ultimate values: truth, freedom, and care, which shape our communal life and ministry. St. Ignatius of Loyola, St. Francis of Assisi, and St. John Bosco, our three patron saints, are respectively the head, heart, and hands of our community from whom we draw inspiration.

Institutions in the Diocese of Arlington in which your congregation has served, primarily:

Parishes where we were/are directing or heavily involved in youth/campus ministry: St. Anthony of Padua; St. Ambrose; St. James; St. Bernadette; St. Luke; St. Mary of Sorrows; Good Shepherd; St. Louis; Marymount University; George Mason University; St. Mark; University of Mary Washington; All Saints; St. Thomas à Becket; Blessed Sacrament; St. Leo the Great; St. Charles; Corpus Christi; St. Francis de Sales, Purcellville; Holy Trinity; Shenandoah University; St. Joseph, Herndon; Nativity. 

Parishes where our deacons and priests were/are assigned: St. John the Apostle, Leesburg; Good Shepherd; St. Bernadette; Queen of Apostles; St. Louis; St. Mark; St. Patrick; St. Matthew; St. Mary of the Immaculate Conception, Fredericksburg; St. Ambrose; St. Paul Chung; St. Catherine of Siena; Blessed Sacrament; Nativity Schools: Bishop O'Connell High School; Bishop Ireton High School; St. John Paul the Great Catholic High School; St. Paul VI Catholic High School Other ministries: San Damiano Spiritual Life Center; Office of Youth, Campus and Young Adult Ministries. 

Ministry founded by our community: Catholic Life Communities (CLCs) were founded in 1979 by Dr. Eduardo Azcarate and continue to this day. CLCs are single-sex, parish-based, intentional communities of faith for high schoolers, designed to provide teens with the support they need to commit themselves to an integrated spiritual and moral life. They help young people discover the Eucharistic Christ, the power of prayer, the example of Mary, and the meaning of genuine friendship. “The Gift of Human Sexuality” seminars for junior high students and their parents were started in 1979 by Dr. Eduardo Azcarate. In 2002 Kevin Bohli started giving presentations on "The Gift of Human Sexuality.” Now Kevin gives those presentations to more than 1,000 5th-8th grade boys each year at 15+ Catholic schools in the Diocese of Arlington. Pro-life contests for junior high and high school students were started in 1993 by John Iekel. Through these contests, Youth Apostles provides a vehicle for youth to express themselves artistically and to creatively proclaim respect and support for unborn human life. Youth Apostles also seeks in this way to support and complement the instruction youth receive in school, in church, and from parents. Youth Apostles has held essay contests since 1993 and poster contests since 1999. New categories were added in 2021.

The Don Bosco Center (DBC) was founded in 2005 by Fr. Ramon Dominguez. The DBC is a Youth Apostles outreach program to youth in Manassas. It provides an integrated program of academic support, faith formation, and character development that incorporates healthy recreational activities during the week. Other activities include family-based gatherings or outings that encourage parental involvement and formation. The DBC provides an accessible, safe, and nurturing environment for youth who may be at risk for violent or gang-related activity. While it is open to all youth from 5th grade through high school, it is focused on serving Hispanic families whose parents typically work multiple jobs and may be removed from their traditional sources of support. As a result, some elements (particularly for the parents) are offered bilingually or solely in Spanish. The program strengthens family support and involvement in coordination with the local Catholic Church.


Religious from your congregation who have served for a significant amount of time in the Diocese of Arlington:

  • Fr. Ramon Dominguez has served as program director of the Don Bosco Center, university chaplain, and chaplain for the Spanish Charismatic Renewal.
  • Fr. David Sharland, Fr. Peter Nassetta, and Fr. Jack Peterson served as university chaplains and directors of campus ministry.
  • Fr. Tom Yehl served as a parochial vicar and as assistant university chaplain and director of campus ministry.
  • Todd Albrigo has served as a CLC Moderator at St. Bernadette.
  • Dr. Eduardo Azcarate served as director of youth ministry, 8th grade religion teacher, and a CLC Moderator.
  • Paul Bevins has served as a member of a parish youth ministry team, as diocesan WorkCamp coordinator, and as a director of youth ministry.
  • Kevin Bohli has served as executive director of the diocesan Office of Youth, Campus and Young Adult Ministries.
  • John Campbell served as a director of youth ministry and as the administrative director of San Damiano Spiritual Life Center.
  • Bobby Celio and Rocco Repetski served as CLC Moderators at St. Mary of Sorrows.
  • Jim Garster has served as a CLC Moderator.
  • Chris Hitzelberger served as coordinator of high school and middle school youth ministry.
  • Eric McDade served as a CLC Moderator and as director of junior high and young adult ministry.
  • John More served as a university campus minister.
  • Mike Paquette has served as a CLC moderator.
  • Rob Tessier has served as a director of youth ministry, as a director of youth & young adult & theatre ministries, and as a 7th and 8th grade religion teacher.

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