Youth Program in Action
Katie Dinkel of Hays, KS, was inspired to apply as a "One Bread, One Cup" intern after attending the conference as a youth participant in 2007.
"My first impression of OBOC as a participant was one of complete awe," explains Katie. "I could not believe that a group of strangers could become a family in just five days and celebrate the liturgy together as if we had known each other for years. I also was shocked by how much I came to know and understand the liturgy in just five days."
She saw the college interns at work, willing to give up their summer for the youth of the Catholic Church. That's something she eventually wanted to be a part of.
While studying elementary education at The University of Saint Mary in Leavenworth, KS, Katie applied for the OBOC internship. She was hired in 2010 and, over four years, she has served as a teaching assistant for hospitality and stewardship, a catechist for extraordinary ministers of Holy Communion, an associate conference manager and the intern conference manager.
Katie remained active in her church when she returned to school. Her post-graduation plan was that it wouldn't matter where she taught because she would be helping and shaping kids regardless. Then, she became a first grade student teacher at a Catholic elementary school.
"I absolutely love being in the classroom, so knowing that was God's calling for me was a no-brainer," says Katie. "It was when I experienced my first school-wide Mass with my students that I knew that God was calling me to teach in a Catholic school."
She saw God bringing two of the things she's most passionate about full circle: sharing the liturgy with others and working with kids. After her internship ended in 2014, she began teaching third grade at St. Matthew's Catholic School in Topeka, KS.
Katie's involvement with OBOC has made her fall in love with the Mass, especially the community aspect of it. She explains that anywhere, at any given moment, someone is celebrating Mass, and as Catholics we are all part of that.
"We interns have this saying when we leave the Hill, 'See you at the altar,'" says Katie. "Even when we are miles apart, we always know we have the Eucharist uniting us. Anyone who has been a part of "One Bread, One Cup" will also understand that; it's maybe the most beautiful piece that they get to take home."