Catherine Labouré Middletown is a driving force on facebook behind the VENTURE Youth Groups at the Parish of St. Catherine Labouré in Middletown, NJ. But, who is that person? Rather, is it a person?
The answer is not quite as simple as putting a face to a name. In order for a group to be successful, there must be a team at work. The team must effectively communicate, plan, facilitate and execute activities and ideas that are at play.
Years back, Theresa Gibilisco was asked to take the position of Entertainment Chairperson for the St. Catherine's Fair. She was excited about this opportunity and spent much time gathering information from the previous chairperson as well as information from the parish and local community about what events and activities could make the few days of fun not only a success, but rather an affordable opportunity to bring families and individuals together for the hard working residents in the Bayshore Community.
Back then, Theresa knew information had to be made public and get into the hands of the local community. However, there was no desire to have a personal facebook profile page, and even more importantly that although the "chairperson," Theresa knew success only comes with a team working together. Having a personal profile for what she was trying to accomplish was not what she visioned, thus she created a profile with a pen name. When people thought of the entertainment of the fair, she did not want them to think of "Theresa" but rather she wanted people to think of "St. Catherine's Fair" - this would be difficult if all messages, posts, and information came from "Theresa Gibilisco."
The fair came ultimately to an end due to a variety of factors (thankfully it was not due to lack of entertainment planned :-D). The created facebook profile with a couple hundred friends at that point, sat dormant.
Fast forward a few years later, there was an opportunity and need for someone to take over the parish CYO, or Youth Group. Having one teen at the time, with 3 not far behind, Theresa knew this was something she could help with that would have direct impact on the lives of her own family. She began planning activities and running the Parish Youth Group. Slowly she started building her "team" of leaders working together. The facebook profile with a couple hundred friends was coming back to life. While having to change names a few times due to Facebook rules and policies, ultimately, Catherine Labouré Middletown was the final name change allowed by Facebook. This profile would be used to communicate all events, information, and activities that the team of leaders in our Parish Community offer.
But...why not just Theresa? The simple reason is that credit is due to so many more people than just one. One day if Theresa moves away or some other unforeseen event removes her from the primary leader/director/role of the youth and family events coordinator within the parish of St. Catherine's, she can easily pass the facebook profile, friends, and successful group events and activities to someone else who can step in and keep it running smooth. While there are some people who see "Catherine" on facebook and think "Theresa" in person, there are so many more who see "Catherine Labouré Middletown" and think "group at St. Catherine's with activities welcoming ALL people in the Bayshore Area." This is what her goal is, for someone to look at a successful group and not give credit to a single person but rather to a team of leaders working together for the good of the whole.
Facebook is a wonderful place to share information, ideas, events, and activities with the local community. A facebook profile allows people to share events and information relevant to those who wish to be "friends" therefore Catherine Labouré Middletown offers friendship with people on all walks, no matter where they are on life's journey.