Two summers ago, I had the privilege of working at a nonprofit retreat center in Louisville, Kentucky. It was during my time at CrossRoads Ministry that I heard the phrase “Sameness versus service,” for the very first time. CrossRoads is a retreat center that focuses on sending young people out …
The Ignite Internship is a year-long ministerial immersion experience. Members of the Ignite Internship live in community on the grounds of the Center for the year in our historic Rock House. Through their work as members of the Youth Ministry team, they help provide around 75 retreats for over 6,000 students. During the course of the program, interns are given the opportunity to discern committing to a second year. In addition to professional development, interns also receive spiritual formation in the Ignatian Tradition.
Each intern has their own private room, and use of the various common spaces on the first and third floors, which included a large dining room, living room, library, solarium, and kitchen. The third floor contains various study rooms, an office space, and a music rehearsal room.
In addition to housing, Interns receive a community food stipend to cover all meals, a personal monthly stipend, and health insurance.
All Christians are called to be a living witness to their faith. As part of the Ignite Internship, participants have an opportunity to develop and share their personal witness. Our ministry team works one-on-one with each intern, coaching them on the art of storytelling. Throughout the course of the year, interns have an opportunity to share their faith story with thousands of young men and women.
In addition to sharing in this formal setting, interns share their witness through their hospitality to all of our retreat guests. Our center provides retreats for over 12,000 men and women each year, all seeking a deeper encounter with Christ. Our team is committed to offering transformation experiences, rooted in the Gospel, as expressed through the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius.
Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy Spirit, – Matthew 28:19
The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius Loyola provide a foundation for the retreat model used by the Youth Ministry team. Ignite Interns learn to facilitate a variety of interactive experiential learning exercises with groups of students ranging in size from 10 to 600. Activities include games, prayer services, icebreakers, trust exercises, presentations, and skits. Developing skills in small and large group facilitation is a key benefit of the program. Our goal is for each intern to leave the program equipped with the knowledge and skills to be successful in a variety of ministry professions.
In addition to facilitating retreats, Interns learn the process of planning and designing each retreat, as well as well as receiving detailed evaluations and feedback.
Beyond instruments and signing, interns also learn skills working with multi-media tools. From setting up a professional sound system to building powerful presentations, a variety of different opportunities are available to develop technical skills.
Throughout the course of the year, interns help facilitate approximately 75 retreats for over 6,000 students. Our ministry partners include more than 30 grade schools, high schools, and parishes across the mid-west. Interns have an opportunity to meet and work alongside ministers, religious educators, and clergy from across the country, as well as our local community.
The team also travels to various professional development events and conferences each year. Past trips have included the National Catholic Youth Conference (NCYC), the National Conference on Catholic Youth Ministry (NCCYM), the National Catholic Educators Association Conference (NCEA), and the SEEK Conference (presented by FOCUS). These trips are included as part of the Internship program.
Cincinnati is also home to a number of different young adult service and ministry programs, including NET Ministries, Vincentian Volunteers, FOCUS, Regnum Christi Missionary Corps, Mercy Volunteer Corps, VIA Missionaries, and more. Throughout the year there are many opportunities to gather together for prayer and fellowship.
Interns commit to living out the following 3 core principles:
- Solidarity (from Latin solidus = firm, strong)
A principle of Catholic social teaching that aims at strengthening community and promoting a “civilization of love” (Pope John Paul II). Solidarity deals with the “unity that produces or is based on community of interests, objectives, and standards.” Peter-Hans Kolvenbach, superior general of the Jesuits from 1983 to 2008, stated that solidarity is learned through “contact” rather than through “concepts.”
- Spirituality (from Latin spiritus = of breathing, wind)
Spirituality refers to a set of attitudes and practices (spiritual exercises) that are designed to foster a greater consciousness of the spiritual dimension of persons. They are forms of piety in the Church, which in many cases developed out of the Spirit-filled way of life of the saints. Thus we speak about Benedictine, Franciscan, or Ignatian spirituality.
- Stewardship (from Old English stīweard, stī = hall, weard = ward)
What identifies a steward? Safeguarding material and human resources and using them responsibly are one answer; so is generous giving of time, talent, and treasure. Being a Christian steward means more – magis – living “for the greater glory of God (AMDG).” As Christian stewards, we live under the First Principal Foundation: we receive God’s gifts gratefully, cultivate them responsibly, share them lovingly in justice with others, and return them with increase to the Lord.
“As each one has received a gift, use it to serve one another as good stewards of God’s varied grace.” – 1 Peter 4:10
If you have any questions or would like additional information, please contact one of our team members:
Director of Youth Ministry
Associate Director of Youth Ministry
Share In Our Adventures!
Throughout the year, Ignite Interns share their experiences and reflections with our community on our blog and social media. We’d love for you to join them in this amazing journey!
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