Tag Archives: Norfolk

    The Norfolk Blog: Full House

    Chris Johnson No Comments

    Father Mike Kuhn, YA, and I arrived in Norfolk about 19 months ago, on the first day of June 2011, and the Norfolk community of Youth Apostles was born. The following Tuesday night we held our first community meeting. I knew we were starting a community from scratch in Hampton Roads, but had no idea what to expect or how long it would take. Six men attended that first meeting; three full members (Father Mike, me and Joe Clem – a lifetime full-member who has lived in nearby Newport News for many years), two candidates who were home on college break, and a guest (one of their high school friends).

    The Norfolk Youth Apostles at Christmas: Father Mike Kuhn, Chip Snyder, Ben Fleser and Andrew DeCelle.

    The Norfolk Youth Apostles at Christmas: Father Mike Kuhn, Chip Snyder, Ben Fleser and Andrew DeCelle.

    A quick scan of the room during our most recent community meeting last Tuesday night gave me a bit of a thrill to see how much we’ve grown. You need to understand, our meetings over college breaks are always a hodgepodge. We have several college guys from Hampton Roads who attend year round, including the four men who made candidate commitments in Norfolk over the past year. However, several of our “regulars” during the school year travel back home over break and are out of range. But some guys who are home from college — mostly George Mason University — drop in, and invite their friends to join us. We really never know who will show up!

    We also had a few special guests last Tuesday. Chris Maimone, a lifetime full member from Fairfax, paid us a visit after delivering his daughter to Christopher Newport University for her spring semester. Three of our members from GMU were home, and they invited two other Mason students from Virginia Beach to stop by. We also had a guest priest — a friend of Youth Apostles who is the pastor of a local parish — covering for Father Mike while he attended a campus ministry conference in Florida. In total, we had 15 men attending at least part of the meeting. It was a full house!

    And that’s when it occurred to me: This is what we envisioned two years ago when we decided to move to Norfolk to begin the ministry at Old Dominion University. We have a great mix of men participating, whether you look at it by vocation ( the group includes priests, consecrated men and lay men) or commitment (full members, candidates, guests). We have members dropping in when they are in the area, we have guests who are interested in learning more about Youth Apostles, and we have developed friendly relationships with local clergy and other youth workers. We are firing on all cylinders!

    Not to imply that our work here is now done. We’re only getting started! Our mission is to lead young people to Christ and help them fall in love with the Church. But as a satellite community it’s impossible not to compare ourselves with our main community house in McLean. By several measures we already compare well to the “home office” (as we like to call it down here!).

    This Tuesday night (1/15) will mark the first meeting of the Spring semester, and we’ll be getting back to “normal.” The quotes are appropriate: college students are a busy bunch, and we’ve never had the same group of men two weeks in a row! I’ve enjoyed seeing our guests over break, but look forward to catching up with the students who have been away for the past month.

    God continues to bless us abundantly in Norfolk. The group of young men we spend time with every Tuesday night is a constant reminder of that.

    — Chip Snyder, YA

    Norfolk Community Moves to a New House

    Chris Johnson No Comments

    The Youth Apostles community in Norfolk moved to a new location in late April. We were in the original house for less than a year but it had already become too cramped: on meeting nights the members were spread out across all the rooms on the first floor during dinner, and during Mass men were lined up in the dining room and kitchen!

    Early on the morning of moving day, nearly a dozen college students active in the Old Dominion University Catholic Campus Ministry arrived at the old house a little groggy but eager to help out. After waking them up with coffee and donuts the students were ready to go and the truck was loaded up in record time.

    By noon the furniture was unloaded at the new house and Fr. Mike set up the chapel. The students joined the members of Youth Apostles for our first Mass in the new house! After that it was time to relax over lunch of pizza and soda.

    The new house is larger than the first house and provides plenty of room for the weekly Youth Apostles meeting. The best feature: the new chapel comfortably seats a dozen men for Mass! Another exciting feature: a large recreation room on the second floor that is perfect for hosting visiting CLCs and youth groups visiting Norfolk for weekend retreats!

    We are overwhelmed by the positive response we’ve received in our first year in Norfolk and from the great men the Lord has sent us! We give thanks to God for His generosity and the graces He has showered on us! We hope the new house will serve us for many years as community grows and we continue to minister to the youth people of ODU and Norfolk!

    For Directions Click Here

    Thanks to Chip Snyder for Photo’s and Article Content

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