Called to Serve: Meet Jacob Williamson, the New Director for Young Adult Outreach

by Christina Aquilina

Jacob Williamson has a strong desire to connect others, especially peers, with Jesus Christ. When he saw the description for the new young adult outreach position at the Diocese of Pittsburgh, he thought it was a natural fit.

“Something the Lord has put on my heart is to serve,” said Williamson.   “I’m passionate about leading people to the Lord and helping them discover and utilize their gifts.”

After serving as coordinator of youth and young adult ministry at Holy Sepulcher Parish in Butler, Pa., and then as a program coordinator for Christ in the City in Denver, Colo., Williamson officially started as the Diocese’s first full-time Director for Young Adult Outreach on February 13.

“As a youth minister for five years, I learned a lot and it challenged me in many ways,” said Williamson. “What I am most excited about now is to support young adult leaders at the parish level. I get to learn from them, support them and dream with them.”

Prior to working at Holy Sepulcher, Christ in the City, and Macy’s, Williamson discerned the call to the priesthood at Saint Mark Seminary and received a B.A. in Philosophy from Gannon University in Erie, Pa., in May 2010. He then transitioned into lay ministry and received certification in the Apostolate of Youth Ministry from Franciscan University of Steubenville in February 2016.  He is currently pursuing his M.A. in Theology from the Augustine Institute.

Using his skills and background, Williamson hopes to help further connect young adults with Jesus, with each other and their parishes in his new role. In the coming months, he will be meeting with young adult leaders across the Diocese and hosting events where young adults can come together, pray together, be with one another and dream together about what young adults want and need. Discussion will also revolve around how we can provide for our peers who aren’t currently attending Church.

As he meets with young adult leaders, he hopes to garner enthusiasm and awareness that young adult ministry is here and is primed to grow.

“Pittsburgh as a city is blowing up. People are moving here, and it’s beautiful,” said Williamson. “The Church has recognized that reality and is responding to our obligation to reach out to everyone, including young adults. I think the Diocese as a whole is primed for an explosion of young adult ministry. It will look different in different places of the Diocese. I’m sensing a deep hunger from my peers to not only connect with our Lord but to also be in real relationships with people hungering for the same thing.  The goal of young adult ministry is to bring people to Jesus. That’s always in my mind. Everything we do needs to be a function of that.”

If you would like to contact Jacob Williamson, please email him at jwilliamson@diopitt.org