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Ethan Harris: A leader who follows

Preaching, teaching in college student's future

Published: August 30, 2021   
Ethan Harris gives a muddy thumbs-up at Camp Covercrest in July.

Ethan Harris stayed close to his faith this summer by working as a missionary at Camp Covecrest, an eight-week Life Teen camp in Dahlonega, Ga.

The 21-year-old is a member of St. Michael Church in Van Buren and a graduate of St. Boniface School. He is a senior at Arkansas Tech University in Russellville, majoring in secondary education and history.

“I credit my mother and my grandparents for keeping me in church,” Harris said. “Shout out to my mom for keeping the faith even when she faced difficult challenges.”

Harris learned stewardship as a young boy, ministering as an altar server. As an older teen, he worked with youth ministry, primarily teaching classes and working on confirmation retreats where he interacted with youth ministers in all five local parishes.

“St. Michael’s didn’t have a Life Teen program,” he said. “I found out about this camp online. I was the first Arkansan to work there. We ministered to different Life Teen and Edge (junior high) groups from all over the country who came for one-week programs. We were primarily involved with religious activities. We led small groups and activities, working with their youth ministers and chaperones. During camp, we attended daily Mass and morning prayer, went to confession every two weeks and learned ways to grow in holiness, live out our faith and be better prepared to minister.”

Harris found sharing his faith with groups of teens for two months was as transformative for him as he hoped it would be for teens he served. 

“Most people I know are surprised at how deeply connected I am to my faith and how much joy I have from that,” he said.

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