In his new role as director of campus ministry at Mount St. Mary Academy in Little Rock, Josh Salman is tasked with helping the school’s nearly 450 teenage girls develop and express their faith.
He admits, however, that it is not always easy to be Catholic, much less for adolescents. With his direction and examples from his past, though, he feels he can help the students develop an enduring, lifelong faith.
Originally from Searcy, Salman, 25, grew up attending St. James Church and went to public school before attending Benedictine College in Atchison, Kan. He said he regularly found himself on the receiving end of questions about his faith from teachers and fellow students. The experience made him realize his love for the Church, sparked him to become more involved and set his career path.
“I ended up explaining to them, like almost in a teacher role, here is why we believe what we believe. Here’s some misconceptions about the Church and clarifying that for them. It kind of set me up to be a teacher,” he said.
After earning a bachelor’s degree in theology and secondary education in 2020, Salman wanted to move back to Arkansas and teach theology. He reached out to every Catholic high school in the state and took a job teaching religion at the all-girls school.
“Mount just seemed to be a perfect opportunity,” the member of Christ the King Church in Little Rock said. “I’ve seen how incredible the faith of our young people in the diocese is. And so, that really got me excited for what I could be doing here. I want to empower them to step forward, take chances, have an experience of faith and be a witness. I'm hoping that they can keep Christ at the center of their lives and know that he's with them.”
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