Inspired by the Incarnation, Dirty Vagabond Ministries (DVM) actively seeks to transform teens, meeting them where they are, building relationships with them, and introducing them to Jesus.
Dirty Vagabond Ministries was founded in Steubenville, OH approximately 10 years ago. In 2015, DVM was established in Pittsburg, PA and, in 2016, here in Wichita, after being given approval by Bishop Carl Kemme. New DVM sites in Sharpsville, PA, Greenville NC, and Benton Harbor, MI will soon open.
Two missionaries run each DVM site. Practicing solidarity by living where they serve, the missionaries meet students at schools, sporting events, parks, and their neighborhoods. Each DVM location has an after school center, provides meals for kids on a weekly basis, and hosts outreach events. They work along local parishes, forming teens into disciples through Bible studies, small groups, and the Eucharist.
Here in Wichita, Dirty Vagabond Ministries is led by Andy Churray, a graduate of Franciscan University, former DVM missionary in Ohio, and STA school teacher. Working alongside him is Jenny Padilla, a recent graduate of Cal State Long Beach who relocated to Wichita to become a DVM missionary. Both Andy and Jenny live in the North High neighborhood and spend much time meeting and getting to know teens from the area. In addition, they are solely responsible for raising money to cover their salaries as well as all operating costs of the Wichita DVM site.
At The Underground, the local Dirty Vagabond Missionaries after school meeting place, kids can have fun and meet others. Kids can meet there once a week to enjoy dinner together. Andy and Jenny, and a handful of dedicated volunteers, work tireless to help these kids grow into Disciples of Christ through developing strong personal relationships with them and engaging them in activities such as small groups, Bible studies, and community events.
To help Dirty Vagabond Ministries in their mission to transform cities one kid at a time, and to provide parishioners with the opportunity to serve and grow in Christ, our parish has established a partnership with DVM here in Wichita. Initially, we have committed to providing dinner for the approximately 50 kids and volunteers who meet at The Underground for a weekly youth group (Dinner for DVM), on the first Tuesday of each month, beginning in October. Parishioners will be needed to donate food, drinks, and paper goods. Others will be needed to coordinate the delivery of the meal, and still others will be needed to help serve dinner. We will also provide an after-Mass meal on the second Sunday of each month, for approximately 25 kids and volunteers. Next spring or summer, we will host a clothing drive and community day for DVM and, at some point, we will provide volunteers to provide transportation for the kids to and from The Underground and DVM activities. And wouldn’t it be incredible if a parishioner or two who has a special calling will step up to share their talents to help Andy and Jenny in forming their kids into Disciples of Christ.
More information about Dirty Vagabond Ministries, and how parishioners can become involved in Dinner for DVM, will be sent mid-September. Please click here to visit the DVM website.
DVM + STA = Forming disciples by serving Christ and our community.