Nora Bourke coordinates Youth Ministry for Our Lady of the Rosary. Before receiving, from the University of South Florida, her Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communication, Nora’s knowledge expands corporate to small business in public relations strategies and graphic design. Concurrently, a youth minister, Nora has 5 years of youth ministry under her belt in both a pastoral and missionary capacity. It is through this passion for ministry and communication that she works to spread the Gospel message.
A pivotal moment for me in my life was in elementary school when I tried to teach myself how to draw people. I spent days with my pencil in hand, scribbling away at my notebook during school. A fascination with the ability to depict real life led to a fierce passion and determination for making new things, becoming enthralled with my ability to express myself through creativity. Realizing I had the power to build images, stories, poems, or ideas… I was hooked on the power of art and creativity!
Transition over to my teen years… As a freshmen in high school I just about battled with the dilemmas every awkward girl does. I was invited by a friend to her Catholic youth group at a church I had never been to. And the Sunday after that. It was a Christ-centered environment that I had never experienced before. The more I went the more I slowly began to discover the many ways in which the Catholic Church was alive and well. I began to fall in love with weekly gatherings, volunteering, retreats, and camp. Oh, camp…
My first semester at the University of South Florida was the age of trial and error. A very blessed time. I was barley hanging on to adulthood, content in my schedules, lacking in community. With a false sense of college freedom, I found myself lost in selfish habits while at the same time seeking neither virtue nor prayer. It was during this time that I discovered blogging and different mediums of visual communications. I had my mind set on my Communications major and trying to prepare my skills for a career. After my sophomore year in college I served on Summer Staff with Life Teen at Camp Covecrest. This experience is one I wouldn’t change for the world. The six weeks I spent serving parish groups and clergy between the mountains, living like a missionary in intentional community, showed me so much about what love is…setting my heart on fire for the New Evangelization in the Catholic Church.
This love for missionary spirituality led to being involved at a parish near where I would be living in the Fall semester. Being involved in weekly youth ministry allowed me to started building relationships with teens, doing planning, and building communal formation in ministry. Meanwhile, I began to channel my energy into Mass Communications, ensuring my extracurricular involvements to give me a highly concentrated experience in relational communications and media. I started to notice my intuition and various skills when having courses about the media and class discussions on publicity. I did an internship with a media branding firm as well as a event planning company. All of this allowed me to explore how an organization builds relationships with its publics through strategic communications, branding, events, and social media… diving into the heart of human interaction and social behavior.
As I continued to juggle both ministry and school, it was amazing how God’s timing is far better than mine. It became obvious how the skills and studies of communication, mass media, and relationships is incredibly useful for the purposes of ministry… which is various events and gatherings in order to provide opportunities for relational ministry. After a year of discernment and serious prayer, I stopped all efforts of seeking a job in the media industry and whole-heartedly accepted a job as Associate Director of Youth Ministry at Our Lady of the Rosary. I love going to work everyday doing social media, graphic design, relational ministry, planning, and basically everything else to continue to lead teens closer to Christ. In sum, I’m a goofy girl with a passionate heart. I like musical theater, dancing, pop culture trivia and IMDB, rainy weather, singing, art history, reading good books, cool coffee houses, journalling, praise&worship, the Georgia mountains, and deep conversations.
Everyday is a new day to make something beautiful and strive for sainthood.
Stay tuned, it’s a wild ride.