SCRANTON – As more young professionals move into downtown Scranton, Father Jeffrey Tudgay, Pastor of the Cathedral of Saint Peter, wants to ensure faith formation and service opportunities are available to them.

At the same time, he is also hoping to engage more high school students at the second parish he shepherds, Immaculate Conception, in the city’s Hill Section.

To accomplish both tasks – Father Tudgay recently hired a new part-time Coordinator of Youth and Young Adult Ministry that will serve both parishes. Kyra Krzywicki has been selected to take on this new role.

Kyra Krzywicki, far left, poses with other young adults following the annual Leave a Mark Mass on Nov. 5, 2023. Krzywicki has been hired to serve as the new Coordinator of Youth and Young Adult Ministry at the Cathedral of Saint Peter and Immaculate Conception Parishes in Scranton.

“I’m very excited because there is a diverse group of people at these two parishes. The Cathedral has a lot of visitors and tourists who are looking at the Cathedral’s beauty, in addition to parishioners who have been there for years and there are a lot of new families,” Krzywicki said. “At Immaculate Conception, there are a lot of families in the religious education program who are hungry for more and are eager to dive deeper into their faith.”

The new Coordinator of Youth and Young Adult Ministry position is being made possible because of the generous financial support of parishioners through recent stewardship education efforts.

Last year, the Cathedral launched a ‘Cathedral Mission Forward’ initiative and has continued its efforts in 2024 with a ‘Cathedral Mission Renewed’ campaign. Immaculate Conception Parish will also be launching a similiar stewardship program in the near future.

In discussing each campaign with parishioners, Father Tudgay talked about where the parish stood with its finances, discussed the opportunities he saw, and the vision they could create together. That helped many understand the connection between their generosity and the ministries that are available.

“We tried to take a very light approach with it and people responded really well, especially to ‘Cathedral Mission Forward,’” Father Tudgay said. “We were then able to look at what we could then do with the increase in offertory that we saw.”

Krzywicki plans to “start small but dream big.” She is planning projects and programs to help both parish communities grow.

“We have a lot of goals and dreams for these parish communities and I’m also looking forward to hearing what their thoughts are as well – what they’re looking forward to – or if there is something they’ve been hoping for,” Krzywicki explained.

At the Cathedral, Krzywicki plans to continue “First Sunday” events for the young adult ministry that started last year that include celebrating Mass together and enjoying fellowship at a social.

At Immaculate Conception, the ministry focus will likely be a little different, making sure high school students remain involved in the life of the parish.

“It’s an opportunity to build some programming around that and set them up for success when they go to college, to be able to recognize that what they’ve experienced in their parish is something they will experience in campus ministry when they go to college,” Father Tudgay added.

As both parishes continue to grow together in their linkage, both Father Tudgay and Krzywicki are excited about the opportunities that lie ahead.

“We want to have a very joyful atmosphere for parishioners to grow in their faith and I’m really looking forward to being a beacon for that – to hopefully help them grow in their relationship with God, with each other and with their parish community,” Krzywicki said.