Totally Catholic Youth Ministers Lounge

Are you in youth ministry and you've had it with crazed parents? Rollin' your eyes at the pastoral council? Tired of administration work? Love youth? Love the Church? Appalled at parish politics? Looking for some good games? For a creative ways to teach a lesson for Religious Ed? Just need a place to veg out and say "phew! Someone outside of the parish to talk to!"? Grab y'r Starbucks, turn the computer away from the staff's eyes, grab a seat on a donated dusty couch and let it all go.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

You, Man, YOU are AWESOME!

RKT. The man, the legand. R. Kerry Thompson. The antidote to R. Kelly.

This totally awesome man was given the Ambassador of Christ award from St Mary's Press. But the biography snippet hardly gets to who this man is.

First of all, they don't even mention that he spent almost 15 years in South Boston where he was teacher, then director of all high school and middle school Religious Education and Youth Ministry. He was the director of one of the most successful inner city youth ministry programs that combined 7 parishes to meet the needs of all the youth of "Southie".

It was a love-hate relationship, he often said. He loved the kids, he hated their drug problems, he loved the Irish flair of the neighborhood, but hated the intense politics inherent in such a place, he knew what was best for the souls of the youth and families but was so often cut off by parents who didn't care, pastors who battled each other and funding that eventually ran out. (Right around the time that the Scandal broke out...I'm not saying anything, but, y'know...hmmm).

Kids flocked to this man. Hard core kids. Kids who wouldn't darken the door of a church. Kids who lost friends as well as grandparents to death. Kids who often didn't see a world outside of "O and 3rd" or "K and 2nd"-well known street corners. But he loved them. "It's unconditional". He used to say. New kids would look around confused, the regulars filling them in "That means he loves us".

He would go the exra mile, enter chaotic homes to bring God's peace to a family, put an arm around a strung out kid, point in their face and say "Is this REALLY what you want to do with your life??". He's been known to go to hospitals and courts to advocate for the goodness he saw in each life. He was also known for swearing at the culture and garbage that brought these same kids down.

When he moved to Norwood, Southie suffered a tremendous loss. In a world where survival is not merely a TV show he gave hope. In the midst of suffering and grief he brough comfort. In a life berefit of love and attention, he gave Christ's Amazing Grace.

I'm honored to know Kerry Thompson. I'm a better minister because of his influence. In our darkest moments we stuck it out and every person who comes in contact with him is a better person.

God bless you man. YOU are Awesome!!


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Your style of admiration is lyrical: not only is it profound in meaning, but beautiful to read, as well.

What are you, Irish? ;-)


4:03 PM  
Anonymous A Product of RKT's YFM said...

This is a beautiful testament to Kerry. I have seen his amazing work in Norwood, and he is a truly gifted man. He connects to teens in such an amazing way. He knows how to lift them up and gives them all the confidence they need. His unconditional love and caring goes far beyond the reuirements of any youth minister. This man is a true blessing to any place he goes. God Bless him for spreading the Lord's work so that it touches so many teens in today's troubled society. He changed my life.

4:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Your presence is your Witness, and your Witness is your presence"

"To the world you may be one person - but to one person you may be the WORLD"

7:29 PM  

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