By Elizabeth Lowe
To say Anthony Puglisi is involved in peer ministry is an understatement.
Puglisi is a junior at Archbishop Curley High School in Baltimore, where he is a campus minister, extraordinary minister of holy Communion, usher and lector. He also helps plan liturgies.
When it comes to serving others, “you don’t have to have a title to do it,” Puglisi said. “I like welcoming people who are timid about their faith. I’ve been raised Catholic and brought up helping anybody, really. It’s natural to me.”
Conventual Franciscan Father Matthew Foley, Curley’s campus minister and a religion teacher, said Puglisi’s “faith is very much a part of who he is.”
“There’s an authenticity,” Father Foley said. “What you see with Anthony is exactly what you get. Curley is very proud he’s part of the community.”
Puglisi attended the National March for Life in Washington, D.C., Jan. 25 with his Anne Arundel County parish, Our Lady of the Chesapeake, Lake Shore.
Puglisi, who went for the third year, said the March gives a voice to “babies who can’t speak for themselves. They deserve to have their rights protected.”
The 16-year-old is a member of the Archdiocesan Youth Advisory Council and Our Lady of the Chesapeake’s parish council. At his parish, Puglisi is also an extraordinary minister of holy Communion and helps facilitate faith formation meetings.
Before Curley, he attended St. Jane Frances de Chantal School in Pasadena.
Last summer, Puglisi attended a weeklong service camp in the Washington, D.C., area and the High School Leadership Institute. An annual program, High Li works to hone youths’ leadership skills and equip them to be church leaders.
“I learned how to plan Masses and … why we do what we do as Catholics,” Puglisi said.
He hopes to be a High Li peer leader this summer to “teach others and make an impact,” he said.
Puglisi, who attends weekly Mass, said “it’s (Mass) definitely more important to me now that I’ve done High Li. It’s a really important part of your faith.”
With a 3.98 GPA, Puglisi devotes as much time to his studies as peer ministry. He takes advanced placement and honors courses.
He is considering a major in physical therapy.
A three-season athlete, Puglisi is a member of the Friars’ varsity volleyball team. He pole vaults on the indoor and outdoor track and field teams, a pursuit he called challenging, “definitely something different.”
Gene Hoffman, Curley’s track coach and a health teacher, said pole vaulting “skill-wise, it’s really complex. He (Puglisi) started to see success at the very end of last year. He stuck with it.”
Archbishop Curley High School
Credentials: Peer minister; extraordinary minister of holy Communion; Archdiocesan Youth Advisory Council; parish council at Our Lady of the Chesapeake, Lake Shore; pole-vaulter for track and field team also plays volleyball
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Copyright (c) Feb. 2, 2013, CatholicReview.org