Jim Walsh is a member of Sacred Heart Parish in Valley Park, MO where he served as a youth ministry core team member for nine years, and where he has been serving as the sacristan for the 5:30 pm Mass for the past nineteen years. He has been attending our Steubenville conferences since the year 2000.
He first began attending these conferences as a core team member with his parish, and since 2010 has been volunteering with production.
Jim’s role with production is quite a commitment. He and two other folks drive from St. Louis to Springfield on the Wednesday before our first conference to begin setting up the arena, and they stay long after the second conference has ended to tear down the stage and bring the Office of Youth Ministry’s equipment back to St. Louis. And if you ask anyone at all, our stage setup keeps getting better and better, so we all really appreciate it!
He has always volunteered for both weekends, except last year when he had to undergo open heart surgery. His date of surgery was July 12, 2018: the date of first weekend conference last year. He thanks God every day that he had all of the people from the Office of Youth Ministry, along with the production crew praying for him, but most of all he is thankful to be back! Praise God.
Jim has 4 children ages 45, 43, and 41 (twins), 8 grandchildren, 2 step grandchildren, and 2 great grandchildren.
He recently retired, and when he is not killing it with the production crew for SteubySTL, he travels quite a bit, visiting his children in Austin, Texas, visiting his friends in Norman, OK, and last year he went to Washington D.C. to help his sister get her house ready to sell. He and his brother just last year took what they called the “cardiac tour” (since they both have the same issues with their heart health) which was a 6000 mile road trip visiting friends and family around the Southwestern part of the United States – along with one week in New Orleans.
He also enjoys helping the Office of Youth Ministry with Generation Life, working production and driving equipment to Washington, D.C and Project Life, which is a week-long service retreat for high school teens. His favorite memory from Project Life is when he went to North St. Louis 3 times a week for about 3 hours a day to do some household repairs, and one of the ladies he helped told him, “God fixed your heart so you could come help me.” How cool is that?
His favorite part of each SteubySTL weekend is Mass and Adoration: “It sends chills up my spine to see thousands of teens and young adults giving praise to our Lord. I think to myself ‘this how it should be always; that would be Heaven on earth.’”
His advice on how to keep your faith alive after a conference weekend? “Stay involved with your youth program, a strong Christian community is always there to support you. Get involved with a ministry at your parish (there are many). When you go to college, find your Newman center and campus minister. Mainly, keep Christ in your heart always, keep the spirit of your Steubenville Conferences alive always.”
His favorite funny story from a conference happened just last week: “We were setting up for the Family Feud game, and as we lined up to get camera angle shots, a balloon bounced on stage. A teen looked at me as if to say, ‘Would you please get it for me?’ and I told him ‘let me get that for you’ and then I stomped on the balloon and I then told him I do not play well with others. I then had about 100 teens booing me, so then did a touchdown dance and heard some of the teens saying ‘get the guy in the OU hat!’ Needless to say my fellow production people did not want me standing around them. Later that night a priest told him that the incident on stage brought him joy.”