Q&A with Adrian Jackson

Q&A with Adrian Jackson

Membership Type: Diocesan Member

Organization and Position: Director of the CYO/Youth and Young Adult Ministry Office of the Archdiocese of New Orleans

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. I graduated from Dillard University where I earned a degree in Business Management. After many years in the service industry, I answered the call to teach. I returned to my Alma Mater, Holy Cross School, and served as a Theology Teacher, Campus Minister, and assistant football coach. I served in this capacity for 13 years. During this time, I entered the Institute for Lay Ecclesial Ministry at Notre Dame Seminary in New Orleans. This program consisted of ministry training that combined theological studies with the four pillars of formation, and was commissioned by Archbishop Gregory Aymond in 2019.

I continued my studies at NDS and earned a Master’s Degree in Pastoral Leadership. I now serves as Director of the CYO/Youth and Young Adult Ministry Office for the Archdiocese of New Orleans. In the fall of 2021, I was selected to take part in the inaugural Mathis Liturgical Leadership Program at the University of Notre Dame. This cohort is focused on fostering a Eucharistic culture throughout our country to promote a deeper affiliation with the Church. I am a loyal member of the Who Dat Nation, and follow every level of football. I am married to my wife, Rachael and we have four children.

How has being a member of NFCYM helped you and your ministry to young people?

NFCYM reminds me that we’re not in this ministry alone. It’s reassuring to have the support system of others who are empowering our young church today. Collaboration is imperative for the important work we do. 

What is your relationship with NFCYM? What does accompaniment mean to you, and how has NFCYM accompanied you?

As a youth minister and former campus minister, I’ve received support from the NFCYM network over the years and am grateful to have them as a resource. As a young director, NDDI really helped to calm my anxieties and equip me with the tools I needed to be successful. I also appreciate the friendships made through NFCYM. I am grateful to be able to learn, borrow, and share ideas from other peers. For me, the Road to Emmaus is what accompaniment is all about. Christ walks with us as we walk with his people. We need to accompany (celebrate, encourage, and assist) one another as co-workers in the vineyard of our Blessed Lord 

Why ministry? Why do you do what you do?

I grew up in the restaurant business and later ventured into sales. After Hurricane Katrina, I got the push to do something greater with my life. The opportunity arose to teach Theology, and the rest was history.  

In the words of Blessed Basil Moreau, “We shall always place education side by side with instruction; the mind will not be cultivated at the expense of the heart. While we prepare useful citizens for society, we shall likewise do our utmost to prepare citizens for heaven.”  

As a product of the Congregation of Holy Cross, these words were etched on my heart. I was fortunate to have great parents and great mentors support me in my formation. This is why I chose ministry – to pass on what was once given to me. By our baptism, each of us are all called to prepare one another and most importantly our young people to be successful for the world; however, preparing our young people and each other for heaven is the top priority. 

If you could share one thing with other ministers, parents, families, and clergy, that you have learned throughout your experience ministering what would it be? It could be a moment, antidote, or words of wisdom:

Never give up on any youth, no matter their age, background, or past history. You never know when or how the Holy Spirit will touch their hearts and souls. The young people we serve won’t remember everything we teach them, but they will remember how we treated them. Listen to them. Meet them where they are. Give them the competency to see, but more importantly, the courage to act. Our job is to plant the seed and allow the vine grower to do the rest.  

NFCYM members can ask me about…

Youth ministry, Young Adult ministry, and Campus Ministry. 

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Yazmín Maní Malone

Pastoral Juvenil Hispana Coordinator,
Diocese of Austin

Diocesan Member

"NFCYM has accompanied me in reaching out to like minded professionals to better provide service (ministry) to adolescents. NFCYM has allowed me to network and grow professionally.

'Youth as Protagonists' has been essential to Pastoral Juvenil Hispana in the Diocese of Austin."

Eva P. Delgado

Youth Minister, St. Christopher Church

Associate Member

"The various resources have helped me keep our program exciting and vibrant. NFCYM has provided me with shared information via webinars, workshops, conferences, outreach, and opportunities that are very informative to help make my ministry successful.

NFCYM is an open forum for me to seek material, guidance and support in keeping the youth ministry program successful."