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A member of the 2019-20 University Chaplaincy team will spend nine months promoting Catholicism in America with the National Evangelization Team (NET) Ministries.

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Thomas Starkie started working at Leeds Trinity University as a Youth 2000 Gap Year Volunteer in September 2019, playing a key part in Chaplaincy events including All Saints’ Day, leading the Praise and Worship night with the Catholic Society, and supporting the delivery of the Youth 2000 annual Leeds Retreat.

In his new role as a NET missionary, Thomas will travel around America, speaking to young people and their families about Catholicism and embracing the life of the Church. He is currently fundraising $6,000 to cover the cost of the training. If you would like make a donation to financially support Thomas, please visit the NET missionary website and enter 'Thomas Starkie 2020-21' in the comment box.

Thomas said: “Having known about NET Ministries for some years, I was prompted once again to consider applying by a conversation with representatives of NET who had come to deliver a workshop at the Youth 2000 Leeds Retreat at the University earlier in the year. Like all Catholics, I am called to proclaim the Good News to all, and the work of NET Ministries is a great way to do that. They also have a pre-mission training programme which equips missionaries to serve the Church effectively, and those skills will be with me for life.”

During his time at Leeds Trinity, Thomas also coordinated the Chaplaincy’s Hello Yellow campaign in partnership with Leeds Trinity Students’ Union in October 2019, to raise awareness and provide support for young people suffering with their mental health.

Maria McHugh, Lay Chaplain at Leeds Trinity University, said: “Thomas has been a wonderful asset to what has become a very close Chaplaincy team but also a friendship group. He has been responsible for building relationships and bringing people closer to God's love – which he has certainly done.”

She added: “We have seen fantastic attendance of students, staff and alumni at Chaplaincy events all throughout the year, a lot of these attendees being non-religious or of different religious backgrounds, but it is the building of these relationships that has had people returning and feeling like they have a safe place at the University.”

NET Ministries challenges young Catholics to love Christ and embrace the life of the Church. Every August, 175 young Catholics aged 18-28 leave behind their jobs, school, family, and friends to devote nine months to serving with the organisation to share the Gospel with young people and their families.

Categories: Catholicism

For the media

Leeds Trinity University's Senior Corporate Communications Officer, Lucy Chaplin, is the first point of contact for local, national and international media.

Looking to source a comment or would like to arrange an interview with one of our academic experts? Contact Lucy on +44 (0) 113 283 7156 or l.chaplin@leedstrinity.ac.uk