Saint John the Baptist Church opens Catholic youth center

After Mass let out on Sunday, Sept. 12, the people of Saint John the Baptist Church met around the corner from their place of worship. They stood in front of a tidy house built in 1959. A red ribbon crossed the entrance to 655 11th Street.

“This used to be the Lovelock Funeral Home,” said Maria Guerrero, of the parish council. “We were able to open it up, fix it up a little bit and we’re going to make it into a youth center. This is where we’ll be having our Confirmation classes and youth ministries.”

Guerrero teaches the Confirmation classes with Juanita Montes, the youth minister.

“It’s still a work in progress but we’re excited to provide our teens a place they can call their own,” said  Montes. “We have a great parish council that supports our youth.”

Guerrero, Montes, Glen and Virginia Rose, Tom and Darlene Moura, Roger Mancebo, Neil Gallagher, Mary Mattson, Renae Norris, Silvia Portillo, Michelle Burt and Father Kuriakose Mambrakatt (Father Kaye) got the project going.

The youth will have access to computers, a media room, Foosball and other amenities. Basketball hoops are on the way. So are new carpets, paint and a lounge area.

“The center is primarily for the youth of Saint John the Baptist, but not limited just to them,” said Guerrero. “We will be doing activities open to the whole community such as teen’s movie night. We want to promote leadership and give them a sense of belonging.”

Father Kuriakose opened the ribbon cutting ceremony with a prayer and blessing. He called the youth the future of the Catholic church. 

After Tom Moura cut the ribbon, the congregation headed up the stairs for the grand opening of the Saint John the Baptist Catholic Youth Center.