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Summit reflection video on the 27th Sunday in Ordinary Time with Joel Stepanek.
Covecrest is more than a retreat center and summer camp. Covecrest is a community of Catholics committed to transforming teens, transforming parishes, and transforming culture. Will you join us?
Hidden Lake is less than 75 miles north of Atlanta, Georgia. It's approximately a 1 hour and 25 minute drive from the city.
Life has its ups & downs and so do roller coasters! Inspiration Tour is the perfect backdrop for fun times and meaningful conversations as the summer winds down. After a long day of exciting rides, teens come to experience the thrill of a life in Christ through Mass, adoration worship and community. Join us in Los Angeles for this epic event!
Middle school ministry is very different than high school ministry. We know it’s tough. That’s why we’ve intentionally crafted this weekend to share with you relevant and practical techniques specific to middle school ministry. Our goal is to equip you with tools and a ministry perspective that can easily be implemented when you return home.
The Catholic Teen Bible from Life Teen meets teenagers where they are in their faith walk with authentic, clear and candid language. This teen Bible helps teens grow in their love for the Sacred Scriptures.
If you are feeling lost, wondering what the next move in life may be, or just want to know and do God’s will, True North is written for you. Let the adventure and journey begin.
This is your one stop shop for great Catholic books, community, gifts, events, music, and resources. We are here to serve.
Edge helps middle schoolers unleash who they were created to be, in Christ.
Life Teen strengthens our teens' Catholic identity, while rooting them firmly in Christ and in His Church.
College Life is a simple online series-based solution to the problem of keeping students connected to their Catholic faith in college.
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Our fearless leader, Randy, is a convert to the Catholic faith… a humble and joyful force to be reckoned with, unmatched in his enthusiasm to help parishes bring every teenager closer to Jesus Christ and His Church. Parents to eight and grandparents to one (so far), Randy and his incredible wife, Monica, take hospitality to new levels. No soul has ever left their presence, home or family without shaking their heads in joyful disbelief at their hearts of humble service. Randy is not only an advocate for teenagers, he’s a champion of fearlessness and change, constantly encouraging the Staff and Missionaries of our movement to think bigger and expect greater things from our God Who is so good to us. When you hear that voice shouting praise from the back of the room praising the God of the impossible, it’s our President and leader… and we like him that way.
It is very difficult to walk away from a conversation with Mark Hart without a smile on your face. Mark has a genuinely joyful soul and is the creative mind behind a countless number of Life Teen resources. A twenty year veteran of youth ministry, Mark has served Life Teen since most of the staff was still in Elementary School, and currently serves as our Executive Vice President. When he’s not laughing, Mark can rarely get through a conversation without mentioning how amazing and beautiful his wife Melanie is or how his four children are the coolest kids you’ll ever meet. Oh… and he’s also an internationally known speaker and best-selling author, but, you know, that’s just how he spends his “free time.”
To invite Mark to speak at your event click here.
Once you’ve met Steve, you’ll never forget him. There are so many adjectives that can be used to describe our Vice President of Ministry and Missions… and passionate would be the greatest understatement. Steve has been leading teens closer to Christ for two decades and when he’s not walking challenging small groups of teens, he’s inspiring large groups with his humor, authenticity and unparalleled heart. He heads up our St. Louis office and is a die-hard Cardinals fan, through and through. He and his amazing wife, Kristy, have seven children and minister to countless more, daily, even when they aren’t aware of it.
Jason Ball, according to his staff, is the most joyful, humble man you will ever meet. So much so, that his 5am country singing is actually quite endearing! Jason has such a heart for Our Lord and loves forming disciples out of young adults as Director of Life Teen Camps. On the weekends, he can be found building furniture, cooking, hiking, hanging out with his wife, Melissa, and their four awesome kids, and just being an awesome boss to his wonderful camp staff.
Jordan Raus is the type of person any administrative team would be biting at the bit to have on their staff, and Life Teen is so grateful for her service. Jordan serves as Executive Assistant to the President and Associate Human Resources Director. Yes, the length of her title really is reflective of the breadth of her responsibilities, and she shines at them all. On the weekends, you will find Jordan sporting orange and purple, cheering on Clemson sports, experimenting with gluten and dairy free desserts, and hanging out with her husband, Zach, and their adorable son, David.
At first glance, one might think Rachel a tad “book-ish," preferring little more than a great read and warm cup of coffee on even the hot Arizona days. She brings an editor’s eye and a focused heart to every task she tackles. Within minutes of meeting her, however, the seemingly shy exterior fades to reveal a genuinely joyful and warm soul who is ready to serve the Lord. In addition to her editing responsibilities, Rachel has the unenviable and challenging task of being Mark Hart’s assistant, keeping his projects and travel all organized and running smootly. Rachel brings a joy to every situation, laughing her way through the most insane situations. She’s a book lover, a dog lover and a people person. Rachel and her husband, Robbie, are a picture of joyful surrender to the Lord, moving across the country with nothing but a dog, a dream and a desire to build Christ’s Church… and they do just that, daily.
Our Web Architect, David Leininger is, as he calls himself, a “professional nerd…” constantly torn between creativity and logic. David plays the Bass (that's the big one with four strings) and loves listening to music. When he’s not high fiving or #nerding, he is probably out on his bike. You’ll never see David drinking coffee, but he does love tattoos, Apple products, and improv comedy (the best kind). More important than all of this, though is his obsession with pizza, being Catholic, and his devotion to our Savior.
You will not find a woman more passionate about Military outreach than Marlo Dowdy. Her experience growing up as a “military brat” (which she lovingly calls herself) has inspired and led her to her current position as Director of Military and International parish outreach. Marlo absolutely loves serving our Nation’s military by serving their children. When Marlo isn’t working, you can find her hanging out with her husband and three girls (plus one on the way!). You may also find her trying to perfect her Texas drawl and understand the other many cultural phenomena’s of the great south.
Tricia Tembreull is simply on fire with the Lord’s love. She will tell you that she has the best job in the entire world. Her fire for the Lord and love for her position at Life Teen make this woman unstoppable in the mission field. Life Teen is so grateful that Tricia serves as Western Regional Director and devotes many countless hours to serving parishes through phone calls, emails, events, and prayers. Tricia has a beautiful love for her family and the Anaheim Angels. On the weekends, you can find her hanging out at the beach and perfecting her archery skills.
Things Katie Gray loves most: Her Lord, her husband Jason, being mom to her two beautiful girls, supporting youth ministers through her job as Central Regional Director at Life Teen, finding her car keys in the fridge thanks to her two-year-old (…oh wait, maybe not so much on that last one…) When Katie’s not chasing down her belongings or putting a smile on a youth minister’s face, you can find her at her favorite park picnicking with her family. We love Katie Gray and are so grateful for her service to Life Teen!
When Joel Stepanek was a freshman in high school, his mom gave him a choice: either go to Life Teen or do his homework. He chose Life Teen (the obvious choice). Since then, Joel has accomplished a wide variety of things – from playing (more accurately, “starring”) in a heavy metal rock band, to writing his Master’s Thesis in Theology, to dedicating 10 years of his life to ministry. But most importantly, marrying his beautiful wife, Colleen in 2012, and welcoming his first son, Elijah, into the world. Joel currently serves as Coordinator of Resource Support.
Amanda Grubbs truly has a special heart for middle schoolers. Her entire job as Edge coordinator is centered on trying to think from the perspective of a pre-teen — an exhausting, but so appreciated ordeal. Amanda has a special gift for making connections between middle school culture and the love of Christ and His Church. Amanda also has a special heart for her home state, Colorado, for her husband Joe, and son, Leo. On the weekends, you can find them somewhere outside, preferably where there is a lot of dirt involved.
Ever wonder what youth ministry and Zumba would look like if they were blended together, given a theology degree, and personified into a youth minister? Probably not – but if you have, you should meet Lily Hannan. Lily is the Life Support Coordinator and is passionate about serving the Church through the creation of incredible Life Support resources. Her passion for life is contagious; if you spend enough time around her not only will you get excited about the mission of Life Teen, you may also wind up in an impromptu Zumba class.
Christina Mead will sing you every lyric to any Taylor Swift song if you ask. She will also write you a rivetingly persuasive blog on why hot sauce can and should be incorporated into every meal. Christina serves as the Assistant Director of Resource Development at Life Teen, and considers Social Media to be her mission field. She loves every opportunity she gets to present Christ’s love and mercy to teens via the World Wide Web.
Of all of our staff members, Michael Barry holds the title for “being shot at by the most amount of people.” (Note: there are no other staff members currently competing for that title.) Don’t worry, Michael isn’t an escaped convict… he actually graduated from the US Naval Academy and served the Marine Corps for 20 years (Thank you Michael for your service!). Michael currently serves as Camp Director at Camp Covecrest in Tiger, GA, a little less dangerous of a job, but still wildly adventurous. Michael is married to his wife, Jenna, (20 years strong!), and have six awesome kids.
Amanda Grassi is the friend you want to travel with! She has lived in many different places, including Japan and Germany, and speaks five different languages. Yeah, five! So impressive… Amanda has been involved with Life Teen since she was a teenager – that time she defied High School stereotypes and was on the math team and the cheerleading squad simultaneously (doubly impressive)! Amanda currently serves as Finance and Communications Coordinator for Covecrest, and in her spare time, loves to read, cook, drink coffee, and learn more about Theology of the Body.
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Sarah Houde has an impressive travel resume — from paragliding through the Swiss Alps to riding a camel in Israel. Sarah has truly enjoyed some of the wonders of the world, and working as the Assistant Director of Events definitely comes naturally to this seasoned traveler. Often, Sarah gets the opportunity to venture to many regions of the nation and world to see the fruits of her labor unfold. She is so grateful for these opportunities to see the Lord’s work first hand.
You’d never guess that the Erika Rosa who wears high heels daily and color coordinates her closet knows just about everything it takes to run a Dairy Farm. An Oregon girl, born and raised, Erika will tell you, by far, that one of the best things that come from the great Northwest is its dairy — but, you know that’s totally not because she was once named an “Oregon State Dairy Princess.” When she’s not milking cows, Erika serves as Accountant at Life Teen and loves to cheer on the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Do you love old school hip-hop? Then you have a friend in Sergio Garcia. As our Director of Creative Support, Sergio leads a team that produces fantastic videos for Life Teen and Edge. You can find him at our events leading production or on location filming our newest video. Oh, and be careful if you ever find yourself head-to head with Sergio in baseball trivia – he can name every world series champion back to the late 60’s. Sergio is married to Lisa and has two daughters, Adela and Isabel.
Ryan O’Connell is Life Teen’s very own (and highly acclaimed) video producer, actor, dancer, singer, writer, and master of disguise. Ryan is best known for his starring roles as Idol Chatter and Abrasive Abner. He is also very well known for his backflips and super sweet dance moves. But, above all, Ryan’s video work for Life Teen is a breath of fresh air and his work just keeps getting better and better! When Ryan isn’t starring in one of his videos for Life Teen, you can find him serving on Core at his local parish, hanging out with his beautiful Fiancé, Amy, or soliciting affection from stray felines. (Yes, he loves cats.)
Leah Murphy may just be the sweetest girl you will ever meet. Leah has a fierce love for the Church, Theological reading (Summa Theologica, anyone?), San Diego, her family, and her friends. If you ever visit the Life Teen office in Arizona, you’ll probably find Leah editing one of her many video creations for either Life or Edge Support. She can also be found conspiring with others on many revolutionary ideas for the future (her most recent: “Youth Ministinder”). Watch out, this girl’s ideas are on fire!
If you are passionate about grassroots evangelization and helping it happen with incredible design, you will love David Calavitta. He has tattoos, a soft spot for puppies, and a big heart for the Kingdom of God. David is our Director of Marketing, and strives to share our mission well through graphic design. Before he began working for Life Teen, David served the Church for many years as a youth minister in California, where he currently resides with his wife Brittany.
Casey Olson is hands-down one of the best dressed on staff. She has a unique eye for flair, color-coordination, and creative expression. You can imagine this comes in handy as a Graphic Designer for Life Teen. Casey’s work has already reached the bookshelves and wardrobes of thousands of teens. In the summertime, you’ll find Casey in a boat on her favorite Minnesotan lake soaking up the sun.
There is no greater woman you would want to serve as Controller of Life Teen than Regina Fortune. If she is not working diligently on budget plans or audits, you can find her planning office birthday parties or having a heart-to-heart with the one person in the office who needs it most. Regina loves everything about the state of Ohio, and spending time with her husband, John. Regina and John have two children, and two beautiful grandchildren.
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Kevin Fenter loves food. So, it’s no surprise that after graduating from Franciscan University of Steubenville, Kevin took on the job of Food Service Coordinator at Camp Covecrest. A seriously appreciated position, as teenagers really love food, especially while at camp. Kevin is originally from The Woodlands, TX (yes, that really is the name of his hometown), and when Kevin isn’t working, he is probably cooking up a storm in his own kitchen, or sitting down to read a really good book.
When Zach Raus drives a new car off the lot, it increases in value. Superman has pajamas with his logo. He once won a staring contest with his own reflection. He lives vicariously through himself. He is…the most interesting man in the world. Zach is also our Director of Resource Support and married to the lovely Jordan Raus. He is the proud father of his first son, David.