Q&A with Kent Schmitz

Q&A with Kent Schmitz

Membership Type: Diocesan Member

Organization and Position: Associate Director for Ministry with Youth and Young Adults in the Diocese of St. Cloud

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I grew up in a small town/farming community in NE Iowa with 7 siblingsI have earned a BA degree in Youth Ministry and Music and my MA in Pastoral Ministry from St. Mary’s University of MinnesotaI met my wife Diane through music classes at St. Mary’sWe have 3 adult daughters. I worked in parish ministry for 15 years in SW Minnesota, and I am finishing year 18 in diocesan ministry for the Diocese of Saint Cloud. I enjoy woodworking, yard work, and cooking. 

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

I often hear from those who are new to ministry that they do not know what they do not know. NFCYM provides multiple avenues for members to network, connect in relationships, share resources and stories of faith, and be in community and learn about ministryAll these opportunities allow us to be better disciples with needed skills and best practices for better ministry with those we serve. NFCYM has been central to many friendships, ministry successes, and enhancing my own professional and faith journeys.    

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

I am the primary representative in our Diocese with our membership.  I was on the Finance Committee from 2012-2022 and NCYC Workshop Committee from 2012-2014. I served on the Board of Directors from 2014-2018 and served as the NFCYM Treasurer from 2015-2018. I am currently a part of the Accompaniment project team. 

To me, accompaniment means walking and journeying together in discipleship. It involves wearing my humility hat, listening, and inviting wonder and awe along the path.  

The membership and NFCYM Staff “ARE” the best accompaniment assets of the NFCYM.  I have learned, laughed, prayed, cried, and cheered in many accompaniment experiences. I have experienced wonder and awe through NDDI, NCYC, NCCYM, First Things, Project Teams, committees, and board work.  

Why ministry? Why do you do what you do?

I recognize Christ in the many ministry encounters and the relationships built in the process of ministry with young people and their families. Throughout my high school years, I was very involved in youth ministry with retreats and music ministry and peer ministryI always knew I wanted to help peopleMy family ran a Furniture Store and a Funeral Home in a small and primarily German communityThose 2 family businesses were ok, and we did help encounter and help people I came to believe becoming a Paramedic would be more helpful and decided to go to school for paramedics.  Throughout that training and more encounters, I came to the realization that I wanted to help people in a meaningful way before they needed a paramedic or a funeral director.  In some ways, the Church as a field hospital and paramedics offer some common approachesI see people usually trying their best and wanting to do the right thing during some hectic and chaotic timesIf I can be a reflection of Christ and help in some small way, I believe I am a conduit to the goodness of 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:

I would say take time to pray and tend to your own soul firstRemember this is God’s work we are blessed to participate in.  You are 1 of many contributors to God’s work and planWe often need to get out of the way and let God do God’s work through others.  

NFCYM members can ask me about…

Praying for them and their ministry, budgeting, budgeting for mission, team training, event planning, Bad Dad jokes.


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)

In the area of Embracing the Essential Elements of Comprehensive Youth Ministry 

I have implemented “First Things in Ministry” within our diocese, and in Support the Growth of the Domestic Church I am a part of the “Accompaniment Project Team.”  

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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."