Senior Jose Morales, a double major in theology and philosophy, is balancing life as both a full-time student and full-time employee with the Office of Hispanic Ministry of the Catholic Diocese of Wichita.
Morales became the program coordinator for Hispanic ministry in June. His job consists of connecting with Spanish-speaking parishes in the diocese, mainly centered around youth and young adult ministry.
“I connect with the parish and if they need help in leadership training or leadership development, I work to bring that to them. I also do a lot of retreat planning right now that is mostly geared toward fostering and inspiring in students a desire to grow in and continue living out their faith,” Morales said.
Morales also writes and translates stories in both English and Spanish for the Catholic Advance. One of his favorite stories he’s written goes back to his first week on the job, at a youth conference in Dallas with approximately 3,000 students in attendance.
“In June, I had the privilege of joining a group of four parishes. My group was about 100 students, and it was just a beautiful way to kind of break into my job,” Morales said.
Morales said it was fun to see the priests get on crazy rides at an amusement park with the students because when you think of priests isn’t something that comes to mind.
The most rewarding aspect of Morales’ job is using his experiences to better serve the church.
“I take what I’ve learned in school, and apply it to church and community,” Morales said.
Campus involvement lifelong goals
On campus, Morales’s involvement has mostly centered around Campus Ministry.
He often attends Campus Ministry events, serves at Mass, and occasionally lectors. He recently helped spearhead the “Viva La Virgen” event on campus to celebrate the Blessed Nativity of Mary and Our Lady of Guadalupe, which connected the Newman campus to the Hispanic ministry in the diocese. This semester Morales is also serving as a tutor for history and has loved the experience so far, he said.
For Morales, his career goals and passions center around teaching, but he admits he is still “an open book.”
“One of my passions is teaching,” Morales said. “I have been studying theology because it’s something I’m very passionate about. Faith and religion — all that has to do with my Catholic upbringing and my Catholic identity. I hope to continue with that in some ways, but I’m open to whatever else I feel called to that has to do with ministry or serving, specifically God in the church.”
Morales said that by keeping his faith at the center of his heart, it has helped him to succeed and pursue his passions, desires and aspirations.
“If I was to give any advice I’ve learned, keep your faith at the heart of everything that you do and don’t lose who you are. Follow your dreams, don’t give up on your goals. In college it can be hard to juggle school, jobs, careers and social life, but at the same time it’s important we prioritize our goals,” Morales said.
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