You may have recently noticed a new face added to our parish staff. Zack Weiss is our newest Notre Dame Echo Intern. He will be with us for the next two years, serving St. Tim’s in many ways. Zach’s primary role will be facilitating our youth faith formation program for grades 4-5 and also coordinating our Young Adult Ministry.
“Echo is a two-year graduate service program focused on forming the whole person through academic formation, spiritual formation, and communal formation,” Zack says. “It is a formation program for the future leaders of the Church.”
Born and raised outside Dallas, Zack has been blessed to grow up in a devout Catholic family. His parents were active in their home parish, volunteering for many ministries.
In high school, Zack was on the leadership team for the Dallas Catholic Youth Conference, through which thousands of teens from around the Diocese of Dallas gather each year to pray and deepen their faith together. He also attended a dynamic and adventurous Catholic summer camp as a teen called the Pines and eventually became a counselor in college.
Most recently, Zack graduated from the University of Dallas with an undergraduate degree in pastoral ministry and just completed his first summer of graduate-level classes at Notre Dame. During the academic year, he will live locally in Tampa with three other Echo students and put his education in ministry into practice as he works closely with our youth and young adults. In the summers, Zack will live on campus at Notre Dame and take intensive courses in theology.
“I moved to Tampa on Aug. 11 and have since been welcomed by everyone I meet at St. Tim’s,” Zack says. “When I got here, people that I knew in Tampa told me I was lucky to be assigned to St. Tim’s and I can see why — St. Tim’s is a great place. I have been struck by the beautiful spirituality of the parish, particularly how focused the parish is on the Eucharist.”
Now that he is a few months into his life in Tampa, Zack has become interested in his ministries. He is currently focused on developing a variety of social events for the Young Adult Ministry and creating an atmosphere that can facilitate an encounter between the Lord and our fourth and fifth-graders.
“Every day is different as my work schedule fluctuates between daily tasks and nightly events,” Zack says. “However, I try to start every day with daily Mass.
This is a great time for me to be present to the parishioners and receive Christ at the beginning of the day.”
Once his morning meetings are complete and he has responded to all his emails, Zack turns his attention to developing programming for both ministries in which he participates. He leans on the Holy Spirit to guide him as he prepares to minister to others.
“The biggest thing that I have learned this summer, that has been reaffirmed during my time at St. Tim’s thus far, is that Jesus is the real minister,” Zack says. “My job is to allow Christ to work through me.”
Zack desires to take the lessons from his time as an Echo student to a future of college campus ministry. He is excited by the prospect of ministering to secular college students who are at such a pivotal moment in their lives.
Let us all continue to welcome Zack to our parish and help him make a home in our community for the next two years!