who we are
building a home for catholic young adults
St. Louis Young Adults is an outreach of the Office of Young Adult Ministry in the Archdiocese of St. Louis that serves young adults between the ages of 21-35. We seek to establish a lasting foundation for Young Adult Ministry in our archdiocese, and we support vibrant and visible communities that empower young adults to grow in their relationship with Christ and His Church.
The Office of Young Adult Ministry was started by Archbishop Robert Carlson in Fall of 2011. Since then it has grown to include two full-time staff members who collaborate with parishes, develop young adult leaders, support young adult groups within the Archdiocese, and organize events for St. Louis Young Adults.
Faith Encounter Opportunities
We provide faith formation for young adults through retreats, catechesis, conferences, bible studies, and many other events. These opportunities allow our members to grow in relationship with Christ, in an understanding of the Catholic faith, and in community with one another.
Through both large and small group events, we provide opportunities for young adults to encounter their fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. We hope to inspire a generation of “men and women for and with others” that support and challenge each other as well as the greater Church community. Through young-adult centered events, we seek to fulfill the fundamental desires of unity and fellowship.
Culture of Leadership
We seek to empower young adults to become transformative leaders. We encourage members to be active in their parishes, using their gifts and talents, challenging them to become contributing members to our ministry, taking roles in their own parish apostolates, and serving within the St. Louis community.
Our ministry connects young adults to local groups for volunteer opportunities that promote the rights and dignity of all people. We desire for young Catholics to be visually present in the Church, particularly in serving the poor and marginalized of our city and in the development of society.
“The Church exists to evangelize.” Our ministry seeks to support and create a vibrant and visible community of young adults that attracts others to the Gospel and the truths of the Catholic Church. Through leadership training, Discipulus Institute courses, conferences, and talks, we hope to equip young adults to be effective evangelists to the world.
Aware of the Catholic Church’s call to “make disciples of all nations,” our mission challenges young adults to follow this mission in their families, work, and social spheres. Our office serves as a support for young adults in their work.
Shane Van Diest
Director of Young Adult Ministry
Shane Van DiestDirector of Young Adult Ministry
“It is Jesus who stirs in you the desire to do something great with your lives, the will to follow an ideal, the refusal to allow yourselves to be ground down by mediocrity, the courage to commit yourselves humbly and patiently to improving yourselves and society, making the world more human and more fraternal.” - St. John Paul II
Coordinator of Young Adult Ministry
Angela RichardCoordinator of Young Adult Ministry
“Do not conform to yourself to this age, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and pleasing and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)
J.R.R. Tolkien is universally known for his Middle-Earth Legandarium (primarily the Lord of the Rings), and is somewhat known for his devout Catholic faith. Just how much did the latter influence the former? In this Theology on Tap presentation, Shane Van Diest will consider the Christian themes and symbolism found in Tolkien’s famous work, namely: God, creation, evil, immortality, death, sacramentality, divine providence/free will, pride, the Eucharist, and whatever Shane can jam into the allotted time.
Shane Van Diest holds an M.A. in Theology from the Augustine Institute, a B.A. in Mathematics and Biology from Carroll College, and is currently completing an M.A. in Thomistic Philosophy from Holy Apostles College & Seminary. He and his wife Marah have one daughter, Cecilia. Shane serves as the Director of the Office of Young Adult Ministry for the Archdiocese of St. Louis, and in the past has worked as a FOCUS missionary, a Division I college football coach, and a high school theology teacher at Duchesne HS in St. Charles. He loves good liturgy, climbing trees, and is, as one might expect, quite obsessed with J.R.R. Tolkien.
“Angels and Demons: Embracing the Good and Protecting from the Bad”
This course will explore our help in the angelic order to not succumb to life’s temptations and foibles. We will look at the spiritual warfare methods we are given to overcome the wiles of the devil tactics. Our time will end with encountering the beauty of our Guardian Angels.