St. Rita Church’s new youth group minister has come full circle both in life and in her faith.

Julie Basil will begin in her new role at the parish on Sept. 13, but the youth group and its activities and purpose are nothing new to the Aurora resident.

“I got involved in the young group my sophomore year of high school,” said Ms. Basil, 24, a 2015 graduate of Beaumont School. At that time, she did so to stay more connected to friends, she said.

“But then I became more involved,” Ms. Basil continued. “I grew up in a Catholic family and faith is so important to me, but I started to grow and make it my own in high school.”

She began to embrace youth group activities, she said, including Bible studies, retreats, service projects and more.

“It helped instill good morals and values in me and the importance of service, both in your community and in other communities,” she said.

In her new role, she will coordinate those same types of parish youth group events, including missions and retreats, as well as serve as a campus minister for St. Rita School students. She replaces Corey Lesko in the role, who was once Ms. Basil’s youth group minister.

Ms. Basil, who attended St. Rita from fifth through eighth grade and is a St. Rita parishioner along with her family, said she got more out of her own youth group experience than she expected.

Her greatest goal in her new role, she continued, is to bring that enthusiasm forward, helping students grow in their faith and make sure they are feeling supported in that.

The West Virginia University graduate who earned an undergraduate degree in French and a master’s in linguistics, Ms. Basil said she will leave her role in marketing for a research company to take on this full-time position. She always knew this is the field she desired, she said.

“I definitely wanted to be in this field,” she said. “Growing in my faith continued to be priority while in college.” She was involved in the Newman Center at her college as well as Bible studies.

She also taught parish school of religion classes for fourth through sixth graders.

In her new role she will work with students to prepare for their spring retreat, pursue summer camp opportunities focusing on service and prepare for the National Catholic Youth Conference, which occurs annually in November.

While her role at the St. Rita School is new and still being defined, she said she will mostly work with middle schoolers.

“I will try to enrich the faith formation that they are already experiencing,” she said.

For the last decade, Sue Reid has covered the government, business climate and residents of Solon. A Times reporter for 22 years, Ms. Reid has earned commendations from the Ohio Newspaper Association and Cleveland Press Association.

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