Doerneman Finds Passion in Helping Youth With Faith | Local

About 10 years ago Sarah Doerneman was reaffirmed before God. Since then, she has made it her mission to help the children of the region discover the same love that she feels with the Lord.

The Schuyler native – who now lives in Duncan – did so by helping run Columbus Catholic Youth Ministry, Rock Talk and GodTeens. The latter two are programs offered by Scotus Central Catholic High School.

Sarah said that she and her husband, Michael, both had reversion in 2011. After the birth of their first two children, Michael attended a men’s conference where he heard Reverend Larry Richards speak. Richards is a “pragmatic type” who told men in the audience “to be men,” Sarah said.

“It kind of woke up (Michael),” Sarah said. “He realized that he was responsible for the salvation of our children. So he had a conversion at this conference.

After a retreat shortly after Michael returned from the men’s conference, Sarah said she too has had a flashback.

“The Lord always has a good plan,” Sarah said. “… My heart has changed. I put the Lord in my life first, and so did my husband.

As they grew in their faith, Sarah said, they decided they wanted to get more involved.

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This led them to GodTeens in 2014. Through the program as a GodTeen couple, they are teaching high school students more about God. Upon meeting the teens, Sarah said it also made a discovery for her.

“You realize that you have to grow more in my faith,” Sarah said. “You can’t give what you don’t have. It has been the continued growth of our faith and the awareness of the need to help young people with their faith. It’s everyone, not just the students.

After a few years with the program, Sarah also began helping out at the Steubenville Conference, through the Columbus Catholic Youth Ministry.

Sarah arranges trips for the conference – which is a national conference that takes place across the United States – to Springfield, Missouri, during the summer. The event gets its name because it originally started in Steubenville, Ohio. The event brings students from all over to discover Jesus’ message.

Sarah said around 100 high school students from the area usually made the trip. She added that although this is a conference of young Catholics, they will not prevent any non-Catholic students from attending.

Meanwhile, Rock Talk – in its third year at Scotus – is a small group discipleship program. It started after a priest – who walked the halls of Scot during school time – was reassigned to another parish, leaving the school without a priest. Sarah has said since she remembers Scot always had a priest, so she wanted to fill that void.

“It was a way for parents or others in the community to come, use their donation and walk with our students in Scotus,” said Sarah. “It fills our need not to have a priest anymore. “

GodTeens also gives couples the opportunity to connect more with students.

Lynn Heinrich – who helps Sarah run the Catholic youth ministry in Columbus and is also a close friend of her own – said she and Sarah wanted children to “live and learn their faith.”

“We want to do this in a welcoming, warm and family environment,” said Heinrich. “… We say, ‘It’s like a second family.’ So if they have any issues at home, at school, or elsewhere, this couple may be just another group of people for advice or just to know that they are loved.

Between the different programs, Sarah finds time to raise her five children: Lola, 13; Zoe, 11 years old; Briggs, 9; McCoy, 6; and Hank, 3 years old. Sarah joked about running the programs and sometimes raising five kids doesn’t go well. But she said she was able to do it all thanks to the support of herself and her husband’s family and friends around them.

“Support is very important,” said Sarah. “My husband and I have good communication. … The Catholic community of Columbus is very large and supports and encourages. Everyone is charitable.

Heinrich said Sarah’s dedication is admirable as they both do something they love.

“We can share the love of Jesus,” said Heinrich. “Being able to do this with one of my best friends is very rewarding.

Andrew Kiser is a reporter for the Columbus Telegram. Contact him by email at [email protected]