OLS Youth Ministry – We love because God first loved us. We are a group of everyday individuals who have been touched in some way by the love of God, and there is no way we can hide that love from others. We welcome anyone and everyone, especially the teens of our parish, to embark on an adventure with us discovering what it means to live our faith. So we invite you to follow us as we try to follow Christ.

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Life House Staff

Youth Minister:

Hello everyone, my name is Lorena Valencia and I am the Director of Youth Ministry here at Our Lady of the Snows. I’ve been involved in Youth Ministry since my freshman year in high school. I went through Confirmation One and Two here at Snows where I was introduced to the LIFEHOUSE and the beautiful ministry Snows had to offer. During my sophomore year of high school, I joined several of my friends from Snows on a mission trip to Mexico to build houses. I left thinking it was a great way to get all my community service hours for Confirmation done; and I came back a changed person. Since that trip I have been excited to dive deeper into my faith. God has given me a passion for service, youth ministry, and growing deeper in my relationship with Him. I truly believe that building relationships is the key to growing deeper in our faith. 

God has given me many opportunities to learn and grow through different experiences with Youth Ministry. I’ve been a leader with Snows Youth Ministry for 8 years. During that time I went through a lot of Youth Ministry training as well as Catechesis. I served as summer staff for a month in July 2005 and 2006 at Covecrest, a LIFETEEN Catholic Summer Camp. In the summer of 2007 I traveled to India with friends and helped out in a school for kids who can’t afford to go to school, worked at YoungLife ministries in Bangalore, and at an orphanage in a small village called Apanur. I was privileged to join a group of parishioners from Snows in Australia for World Youth Day that same summer! I hope to continue to not only go to World Youth Day, but also take some of our teens to experience the universality of the Catholic Church. Last year I spent nine months as a missionary with NET ministries working for a parish in Faribault, Minnesota. There I was a co-leader for my team. My team and I helped enhance the Youth Ministry program out there and I’m happy to say Divine Mercy is flourishing in Youth Ministry as we speak.

As for my educational background… I went to the University of Nevada, Reno where I earned a Bachelor’s degree in Health Ecology (a fancy name for Public Health), and there I learned that health incorporates at least seven different components, one of which is spirituality. I studied abroad for a semester in a small medieval town outside Rome, Italy. I have attended the Certificate for Youth Ministry training offered through Center for Youth Ministry Development; and I am currently working on the homework in order to receive the certificate. I have also taken two Master Level classes in Counseling at the University of Reno. I plan to take classes part-time in order to earn a degree in Marriage and Family Therapy.

That’s me in a nutshell. I hope to have the privilege of meeting you first hand, and getting to know more about you! Live, Love, Laugh.

Young Adult Minister:

Eugene Gasataya was born in Iloilo City, Philippines. He is the oldest of 4 children, with 2 sisters and a brother. His family moved to the United States in 1981 and lived in Chicago for six years. He was a member of the high school varsity soccer team and the state champion chess team; received a special award as the only chess player undefeated in the state team tournament and state individual championship in 1984; graduated from Lane Technical high school in just three years. 

He moved to Reno in 1989 to honor his parent’s desire to live in Nevada. Parishioner at Our Lady of Wisdom for 15 years; choir member and guitar player; was an active member of the Newman Center planning retreats for Confirmation students under the tutelage of Father Tom Donnelly; headed college students to World Youth Day in Denver, Colorado 1993; directed the Living Stations for 8 years; received the National Certificate in Youth Ministry Studies from the Center for Ministry Development- the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and Mount St. Mary’s College. He was involved with the Crisis Pregnancy Center as a speaker for their youth program. Thru Amor Ministries, he took high school students and helped them build houses in Tijuana/Rosarito, Mexico for 7 years and was a site foreman.

He was the Youth Director at Saint Rose of Lima for 3 years. He has extensive coaching experience in soccer. He was the head coach of the Junior and Varsity teams at Sparks high school; coached the first ever junior varsity team at Bishop Manogue high school; coached a select U-14 traveling team while coaching another American Youth Soccer Organization team. He worked for the United States Postal Service as a letter carrier for 14 years. He received the Diocesan Volunteer award in 2007. He has been a volunteer for the OLS high school ministry team (going) for 17 years and lead musician; requested by teens to be a Confirmation sponsor; a leader at numerous junior, and senior high school summer/winter camp experiences; he is a Young Life leader; you will usually find him playing the guitar and singing at the Sunday 5:OO Mass; he is an owner/operator of two group homes- Summerdale Homes (residential facilities for groups since 1998); he is also a member of the Why Catholic leadership team and a small group facilitator. He will continue to work with young adults in the parish and throughout the diocese who desire athletics, praise/worship, adoration, small faith community, social justice, Theology on Tap, volunteer time/talent in various church ministries, social gathering, etc.

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