Newton-native joins NET Ministries
By Lindsay Steele
The Catholic Messenger
Tim Stammeyer of Sacred Heart Parish in Newton is about to take a year off from his studies so he can witness to youths. The 20-year-old student at St. Thomas University in St. Paul, Minnesota, has been accepted into NET Ministries for a nine-month stint, which will begin this fall.
Alison Duffy, marketing and communications coordinator for Minnesota-based NET Ministries, said the organization challenges Catholics ages 18-28 to love Christ and embrace the life of the church. Each August these young Catholics leave behind jobs, school, family and friends for nine months to serve with National Evangelization Teams (NET). The teams “become like family for each other as they work side by side sharing what God has done in their lives. Annually, 75,000 youths across the country hear this message of God’s love and power, brought to them in a personal way,” Duffy said.
Stammeyer has been interested in ministry since his days as a youth at Sacred Heart. “I developed a faith and love for God there that really grew when I came to college.” At St. Thomas, he has been involved with a number of peer-mentoring programs and started a weekly “Pancakes with Jesus” ministry, in which he served a free breakfast to his fellow university students as a religious conversation starter.
Fresh off his sophomore year, Stammeyer said he spent the past year discerning participation in the NET Ministries program, having heard great things from friends who worked with the organization in the past. He knew it would be a sacrifice and he prayed constantly to see if it was God’s will for him to participate. His desire to apply never wavered. “I really felt passionate to go and felt on fire about it and wanted to interview.”
He said the interview process was more than just a short question-and-answer session. It involved spending a weekend at the West St. Paul, Minnesota, headquarters with staff and other interviewees for what he calls a triangular discernment process – the interviewees, staff and God working together to choose the right team. “It’s a really active and prayerful discernment.”
Stammeyer will go through training in August and then be assigned to serve with a stationary parish or school team or travel throughout the country offering workshops. He hopes to serve on a traveling team but said he is content to serve wherever needed.
Volunteers must raise $5,000 toward the $20,000 cost of participating in the program. While he hasn’t reached his goal yet, he said Sacred Heart parishioners have been very supportive. He is confident he’ll raise the money by August. Father William Reynolds, Sacred Heart’s pastor, described Stam-meyer’s passion for discipleship as “mature and insightful beyond his years. He is a great witness to the good parenting he has experienced from his parents and to good formation from Sacred Heart Parish.”
Stammeyer eventually hopes to work for social justice in a faith environment. “This could manifest itself in a lot of ways. It could be working in a parish or overseas with Catholic Relief Services (CRS) or following religious life. I Don’t know yet, but I’m keeping my options open. I want to be in a position to impact those in need in our society.”
Fr. Reynolds believes Stammeyer’s missionary work will benefit him moving forward. “This will be an extraordinary experience for him and will aid him in whatever future endeavors he has.”