In addition to the new students, friars, and faculty, Franciscan University of Steubenville welcomes a new Director of Missionary Outreach, Rhett Young.
“I’m excited to work with the students to help them prepare for their future vocations,” Young said. “In a way mission work is a ‘taste and see’ of a future vocation.” He explained that aspects of mission work like self-sacrifice and planning a budget are big parts of whatever vocation people enter into.
“The students don’t always see mission work as preparing for their future vocations, but I help them see the bigger picture,” said Young.
He will oversee the Missions of Peace (mission trips), Works of Mercy (outreach programs), and SENT (Student Evangelization Network Team) ministry, which is a retreat ministry to youth.
Originally from Southern California, Young came to Franciscan as a student and graduated in 1994 with a degree in theology and philosophy. He is excited to be back at Franciscan.
“I met my wife here and I feel indebted to Franciscan for helping me grow in my faith. I am excited to be working with faith-filled students and giving back to my Alma Mater,” He said.
Young discovered the opening in the position online and responded to it because of his experience both in the mission field and in administration. He has worked in youth, young adult, and family ministry and has been a Catholic school principal for 10 years and has been a parish administrator. He holds a master’s degree in education administration from Xavier University in Cincinnati. He said that his largest mission to date is raising his eight children: five boys and three girls, ages one and a half to seventeen.
“I’m the first full-time layperson in this position and I plan to be here a long time,” Young said. “I want to raise my family here. The professors here really exemplified to me how to raise a family and I want to set that same example to the current students. The Franciscan community is wonderful for raising families. People may think that Steubenville isn’t a great place to raise a family because of drugs and prostitution, but I think it’s good for my children to see that there are people out there that need us.”
When asked if he had any advice for students considering participating in any of the Missionary Outreach programs, Young replied, “I’m trying to share with the students that they should sign up for a holy hour in the Port (Portiuncola Chapel) and from there God will call them to whatever project they should be a part of. Then as John Paul II so often said, ‘Be not afraid’ and jump right in and give God everything in the particular mission they choose.”
In addition to his position as Director of Missionary Outreach Young is also the new advisor for Lion of Judah household, of which he was a member and coordinator during his time at Franciscan.