St. Leo’s 13th Disciple Ministry: ‘Young adults are the future leaders of our faith community’

By Victor Garcia
For Today’s Catholic

Find more about the the Ministry of the 13th Disciple at, about FitDisciple at Follow us on Instagram: at Ministryofthe13thdisciple or search #13thdiscipleministry.

The mission of the 13th Disciple is to provide spiritual support and guidance to adolescents and young adults in the community through Christian principles and values to follow and maintain a relationship with Jesus Christ.

At their transitional period of life, young adults often lose their way. The intent of this ministry is to teach and keep God at the center of their lives because these young adults are the future leaders of our faith community.

The Foundation: Tuesday Night Faith Sharing

The Ministry of the 13th Disciple is built around community first. We host weekly faith sharing groups every Tuesday to help bring the young adults together with each other and God. Each week we discuss various topics based on young adults fulfilling their Catholic faith in their everyday life. This discussion may include scripture, music, personal testimonies, videos, presentations, and group sharing. Occasionally we substitute a game night or social event to bond closer with one another.

The 13th Disciple has an affiliated fitness ministry called Fit Disciple. The young adults meet up for group workouts, volleyball, kickball and other activities. The Fit Disciple has a team that participates in the American Heart Association walk and helps raise money for the organization.

Meeting every week keeps the fire burning inside us and helps our young adult community grow. This is one of our main priorities for our ministry because serving does not just end once retreat has completed.

‘Meeting every week keeps the fire burning inside us and helps our young adult community grow.’


Another important aspect of the 13th Disciple ministry is serving the community. The young adults participate in church clean up events and the church festival. We volunteer at the parish school by serving lunch and cleaning the grounds. Every year we donate scholarships to the students.

St. Leo Parish young adults volunteered to help build a house for Habitat for Humanity on Sept. 23.

During Hurricane Harvey, we volunteered through the week preceding the hurricane at the Catholic Charities center to help with relief efforts.

For three years we have hosted a teens day retreat called Teen’s Spirit Fest. This year it will take place on Nov. 4, from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., with Mass held at 5 p.m. Teens regardless of religion or parish are invited to join us.

As president of the Board that oversees the ministry, my goal is to help other parishes who are looking to start a young adult ministry. Our leaders welcome the chance to share their experience and help others successfully begin a 13th Disciple within their own parishes.

For information on how to begin a branch of the 13th Disciple young adult ministry, contact Victor Garcia at, Bianca Espinoza at or adult mentor/liaison to our ministry, Rudy Garcia at

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