From Catholic Memorial School
Ministry begins and ends with community. Mr. Kevin Durazo knows this. If not from his time at Yale Divinity School, then from his Catholic high school in Tucson, Arizona. There, he flourished thanks to the relationships that existed between faculty and students both in and out of the classroom.
Mr. Durazo loved his time at Salpointe Catholic High School. The football team, the service work, the retreats - he loved it all. But, he never really knew the exact words to describe why.
His first Theology course with Fr. Michael Himes as an undergraduate at Boston College changed this. Entering BC as a Chemistry major, Mr. Durazo took the class to check off a box. Nothing else. His plans felt bigger. Or, so he thought.
"This class opened my eyes to a new way of thinking," said Mr. Durazo.
"It was an introduction to Christan Theology class. But, essentially, it equipped me with the vocabulary to look at all things in my life and to really understand what I found meaningful."
Seeing life through a different lens, he took another Theology class. Then another. The mentors and friends he met and surrounded himself with reminded him of his community back home in Tucson.
In that environment, he felt welcomed to pursue service work, study ethics, and live authentically. Above all else, he finally put words to why he loved his high school back in Arizona. He returned to the same words every time: community.
He left BC for Yale Divinity School where he met his mentor Rev. Tony Jarvis, a long-serving former Headmaster of neighboring Roxbury Latin. Rev. Jarvis taught him how to put the often abstract ideas of Christian ethics into practice. To Rev. Jarvis, teaching theology to boys meant gathering them together, inviting them to speak openly about their lives: their ideals, beliefs, and passions.
It took little time for Mr. Durazo to buy into this idea. He studied educational leadership with a new intention in mind.
"I wanted to be in a school and create opportunities for every different type of boy," explained Mr. Durazo.
When Mr. Durazo arrived at Catholic Memorial School in 2015 as the Assistant Director of Campus Ministry, he wanted to implement the retreats, programs, and service programs necessary for these experience to occur. He broadened service requirements to freshman, sophomores, and juniors, redesigned the overnight freshman orientation program, and built a freshman retreat that focuses on healthy masculinity and spirituality. Soon enough, he laid down the groundwork for the school's first Hungerfest and Kairos retreat.
"Just as a good teacher differentiates a classroom lesson to incorporate all students and different learning styles, our hope in Campus Ministry is that, through our diverse retreats, liturgies, service, and advocacy initiatives, students can experience God in so many different ways and openly live their faith," said Mr. Durazo, now CM's Director of Campus Ministry.
"To do my part to create opportunities for students to build a relationship with God and to grow in brotherhood, that's why I believe I'm here."