Being Youth Ministry Director at Sacred Heart Catholic Church in West Des Moines means keeping a suitcase handy, but Deanna Lane does not seem to mind.
When we spoke last month with Lane she had just returned from a church-sponsored, two-day ski trip to Minnesota and was packing her bags again for a bus trip the following day to Washington, D.C., where she and about a dozen teens and adults from Sacred Heart were participating in the annual March For Life event held during the final weekend of January. They were among about 200 pro-life Iowans riding on four buses to the nation’s capital to voice their opinions about the 40th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
“I like my work because no two days are the same,” says Lane, now in her seventh year as Youth Ministry Director. “Some days I say, ‘I can’t believe I get paid to do what I do.’ The kids keep me young.”
Most weeks, Lane is busy working with teens at Sacred Heart through its Student Ministry At Sacred Heart (SMASH) program. About 30 to 40 participating teens meet every Wednesday night at 6:30 p.m. during the school year to engage in various activities and discussions. Each one includes a lesson that addresses the subject of the following weekend’s Mass.
“We pull a teen-related theme out of each Mass that relates to teens and their families and friends,” says Lane, who inherited the long-running program. “The students like SMASH because they can be with liked-minded people their own age and ask questions and be accepted in a group.”
When she isn’t leading SMASH, Lane also helps to direct a teen choir, praise and worship band, and helps organize the church’s youth to staff its Friday night fish fry dinners open to the public during Lent, which began this year on Feb. 13.
She also enjoys coordinating special trips like the ones to Minnesota and Washington, D.C., as well as this year’s journey to the National Catholic Youth Conference to be held in November in Indianapolis.
“They are great opportunities for our youth to experience,” she says.Sacred Heart Catholic Church
1627 Grand Ave.
Saturday: 4 p.m.
Sunday: 8, 9:30 and 11:15 a.m., 1 p.m. (Spanish Mass)
Mon. – Fri.: – 8 a.m.
Sacrament of Reconciliation
Saturday: 2:30 – 3:30 p.m.