How do you select parishes/schools to have missionaries?
We look for parishes/schools that are understaffed in reaching their youth with the Gospel for whatever reason. Some are understaffed because of finances; others because of historical factors; still others because of parish culture and dynamics. Finally, we look for leadership that is desiring to reach their youth despite these obstacles and are willing to move toward a long-term solution for youth/campus ministry over time.

How do you select missionaries?
As best as we are able, we try to let the Holy Spirit guide our discernment through prayer. Beyond that we consider a number of factors including best matching strengths of candidates with needs of parishes/schools; male/female ratio of missionaries; and certain discipleship qualities. We recruit far and wide and from all educational backgrounds. That being said, we do give preference to sons and daughters of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and we give preference for studies / experience related to ministry.

Does a missionary get paid?
Yes. A missionary is an employee of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati and gets paid, but not in the traditional sense of “employee”. Missionaries fundraise their salary and a part of their formation costs through mission partners who support them financially and with prayer. Also, since this is a missionary endeavor the paycheck is very moderate. However, our hope is that the benefits of formation and experience through missionary youth ministry far outweigh any monetary gain.

How much will I be asked to support-raise?
First of all, missionaries will receive extensive training in support-raising with team support in the process. Secondly, we have worked hard to keep our number significantly lower than other similar missionary programs. Third, we have a base target for all missionaries that can be adjusted for personal needs such as student loans, car payments, etc. Missionaries will be able to support-raise through their personal network as well as that of the parish where they are assigned. Email for more information about how support raising would work for you.

What all is included in “formation” opportunities?
This is a great question! The answer is, “A lot!” Some of what is included is:
-          one week of support raising training
-          several weeks of intensive formation before beginning in the parish
-          monthly formation with whole community of missionaries and youth ministers called DESERT DAYS
-          annual days of reflection called RENEWAL
-          annual silent retreat
-          8-day pilgrimage to Rome and Assisi
-          twice per month mentoring with a VIA Staff Member
-          mentoring and supervision from the parish pastor or designee
-          opportunity for free grad courses in year two
-          and more!

Where will I live while I’m a Missionary?
The Office for Youth Evangelization and Discipleship will provide housing in community with other missionaries. Missionaries will live with at least one other missionary of the same gender at a residence near their assignments. They may or may not also live with other young adults who are not missionaries.

What is the Rule of Life?
The Rule of Life is a commitment that all VIA Missionaries agree to live by. It gives definition to the way of life that is VIA. It is important to note that all of the items in the Rule of Life are expectations that the Office of Youth Evangelization and Discipleship is also living out unless vocation dictates an adaptation. This includes things like daily Mass, monthly confession, daily Holy Hour, and community prayer, fellowship, discernment and intercession

I'm getting a degree that allows me to be hired as a full-time minister. Why should I consider becoming a VIA Missionary?
If the Lord is clearly calling you to paid, full-time ministry we certainly would say go for it. In fact, our hope for VIA Missionaries is that it actually increases the need for well formed, paid, full-time ministers in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati over time. However, we also know that many people desire some continued formation, experience, and, most importantly, mentorship during their key first couple years of ministry. VIA Missionaries provides this in a way that many parish ministry jobs are not equipped to do. The truth is many ministers are asked to disciple teens or other individuals, but are not themselves supported with a discipling network, formation, and spirituality. VIA seeks to be very intentional about this as it accompanies its Missionaries through these crucial first two years of ministry. Furthermore, we are finding more and more individuals with and without ministry-related degrees who are seeking opportunities to more intentionally discern Church, parish, and/or youth ministry in a well-supported and clearly defined commitment. VIA Missionaries creates a unique opportunity to do just that.

Why come and serve in the Archdiocese of Cincinnati?
We believe that the Archdiocese of Cincinnati provides a unique opportunity to our Missionaries. It is a fairly large diocese, spanning 19 counties, 211 parishes, and serving 404,649 youth (Catholic and non-Catholic) in a variety of urban, suburban, and rural settings. This exposes our Missionaries individually and collectively to a diverse number of ministry opportunities and perspectives. But more than all this is the particular care our local shepherd has for his young people. Archbishop Dennis Schnurr, who previously planned World Youth Day in Denver, is a big fan of our youth, our youth ministers, VIA Missionaries and understands the importance and value of discipleship-based youth ministry.

What is the timeline for application, selection, start date, and initial formation for missionaries?       

  • Application deadline May 1, 2019

  • Interviews conducted on a rolling basis, so apply today!

  • Opening Retreat and Support-Raising Training from May 26 - June 2, 2019

  • Full-time support raising window from June 3 - August 11, 2019

  • Local housing made available first week of July

  • Intensive Formation from August 12 - August 30, 2019

  • First day in parishes full-time is September 3, 2019