Religious Education and Youth Ministry

LifeGuides are a team of resident parishioners, college students, and confirmed high school students who are committed to assisting the youth of the St. Tom’s parish. They are instrumental in planning, organizing, and implementing the activities for the youth. The individuals involved in LifeGuides share their faith through service projects, retreats, and social events.

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A Catechist’s Journey

Meet This Year’s Interns

Mitchell Struewing

LifeGuides Coordinator

Year: Junior

Major: Pharmacy

About Me: I am from the eastside of Indianapolis, Indiana where I grew up with my two younger siblings and loving parents. I grew up volunteering a lot with my dad at St. Vincent de Paul, the Knight’s of Columbus, and our church’s summer festival. I got involved in St. Tom’s playing cello in the 9 AM choir and teaching 4th grade and 7th grade, a semester each. My favorite thing about St. Tom’s and Purdue has been getting to make so many new, amazing friendships (and I cannot wait to make more). Some fun facts about me: I have an obsession with grapes and they are my go-to snack all day, every day. I also crave a nice cup of tea quite often (hot or iced; sweet or unsweet). I love listening to new music and then searching YouTube for instrumental covers (look up Brooklyn Duo, they are my favorite). I want to get to know you and see what all we have in common, so whenever you see me feel free to stop and chat! I want for us all to grow not only in our friendships, but especially in our faith, together through LifeGuides. Let’s have a great year!

Favorite Bible Verse: “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life that God promised to those who love him.” – James 1:12

This verse reminds me to hang in there even when times are rough. Life may be full of suffering, uncertainties, and temptation, but in the end God has a plan and a glorious future for us.

Erin Bodenbach

LifeGuides Secretary

Year: Junior

Major: Neurobiology & Physiology

About Me: As the only child to two loving parents, I was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Coming from two devout Catholic families, a parochial education was always something that my parents valued and wanted to provide. As a result, I attended a Catholic grade school and continued my education at a Catholic high school. In high school, my faith grew immensely. Despite several hardships, I was able to grow closer to God. Suffering allowed me to deepen my trust in God and remember that it is all part of His plan. Coming to Purdue, I knew that I wanted to continue in my faith journey by being active in the St. Tom’s community. Joining LifeGuides last fall as the LifeGuides Secretary was an amazing opportunity! I was able to continue working on my own faith while making an impact on the lives of young children. I am excited to be returning this fall, and I hope to continue my growth in faith and in my leadership skills.

Favorite Bible Verse: “Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” James 1:2-3

When I read this verse, it reminds me that there is a greater purpose to all our trials and tribulations. It is through our suffering that we are able to grow in strength and deepen our faith.

Fatima Yamilet Arroyo

Major: Accounting

How did you get involved at St. Tom’s?: I began by attending Blockbuster Weekend and from there I attended Ignite (where I met my best friends). Then I went to Boiler Awakening 19 and I became involved in Exalt, Purdue Catholic Women, and attended SND. In the second Semester, I became a member of Life Guides where I became a Youth Leader and helped with Confirmation.

Favorite Bible Verse:  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.”
-Proverbs 3:5-6

This verse speaks very deeply to me because It reminds me of how present the Lord is within our lives. The Lord is literally letting us know that we can lean on him and that he will guide us not only in prayer, but in every moment we invite him. This verse helped me through high school when I was overwhelmed and I have learned to lean on God in my hardest and happiest moments and I want to invite you to do the same.

Bio: Hello Beautiful People! I am originally from Clarksville, Arkansas, but I now live in Columbus, Indiana! I grew up in a very cradle Catholic household, so from a young age we were always attending church and my twin and I were lucky enough to be there on the weekdays since my mom always took us with her to her endless meetings and choir rehearsals. In a way it felt like an obligation, but as I grew up and came to my Confirmation I realized my faith was something I truly wanted to pursue. Coming to St. Tom’s really inspired me because I saw people my age crazy in love for Jesus and I knew that is exactly what I wanted to begin! Here at St. Tom’s I gained an amazing community through my Catholics and I am so ready to meet more of you along the way! I love learning about Saints and literally making them part of my everyday life! I just think they’re so cool and on a daily basis I love drinking iced coffee and scrolling through Saint art on Instagram. Also my favorite feast day is December 12th, for La Virgen de Guadalupe! I love Our Lady and she has helped me through so much! If you see me around please tell me about your favorite Saint or any cool Catholic fact! I am beyond blessed to be back in Life Guides and help as the Youth Ministry Intern this year! I am ready to share the name of Jesus and help inspire and grow in faith with the youth!

Madison Struck

Makenna Dejoie

Amanda Djerde