Q&A with Br. Scott Slattum, OFM
Membership Type: Associate Member
Organization and Position: Director of Faith Development at St. Mary’s Basilica in Phoenix, AZ
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a Franciscan friar of the Province of Saint Barbara. I currently serve as the Director of Faith Development at St. Mary’s Basilica in Phoenix, Arizona. I also serve on the Commission on Youth and Young Adults for the National Fraternity of Secular Franciscan Order – U.S.A. supporting the Franciscan family on its outreach to young people. I have worked in the field of youth and young adult ministry for over 25 years. I am originally from Oregon. The middle child of three brothers. My parents were dedicated public school teachers. Most importantly, God and family love me.
How has being a member of NFCYM helped you and your ministry to young people?
NFCYM provides training and resources on relevant topics that affect young people and those who minister with them. As a member, I benefit from NFCYM scholarly and professional workshops that assist me in becoming a more effective pastoral minister.
What is your relationship with NFCYM? What does accompaniment mean to you and how has NFCYM accompanied you?
I have been accompanied and trained by past and current NFCYM members and member organizations. I am grateful for Michal Horace, Tom East, Joan Weber and the Center for Ministry Development. NFCYM members who formed me in my professional identity as a coordinator of youth and young adult ministry. In turn, I hope to accompany others. I recently became a moderator for the NFCYM young adult ministry network. I hope to give back to this dedicated and faith-filled community of young adult workers.
Why ministry? Why do you do what you do?
It is where I experience the greatest joy. I get to see the Spirit of God at work in the lives of young people, their families, and those who minister to them. It is a privileged space to encounter God.
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:
Our role as parents, clergy or minister is to remind the young of their true nature – Love – because God is Love (1 John 4:16) and they are fearfully and wonderfully made in his image (Psalm 138:14). When they have fallen short of loving God and neighbor, they can find strength, nourishment and healing through the Church’s sacraments to learn to love again.
NFCYM members can ask me about…
I have a strong background in alcohol, tobacco and other drug prevention, positive youth development, and strengthen neighborhoods through faith-based and community partnerships. I love to share my experience and knowledge from working with local, state and federal programs.
As NFCYM works to highlight the work of our Focus Areas, can you share how you have implemented them to help support your ministry? (Focus Areas: Essential Elements of Comprehensive Youth Ministry, Profession and Practice of a Youth Ministry Leader, Youth as Protagonists, Growth of Domestic Church)
The success of our outreach is our leadership team of young people. We strive for diversity of membership and invest parish resources (monetary and staffing) in providing high-quality training. The NFCYM focus of understanding and engaging youth as protagonists reminds us of the importance of investing in our young people to lead.