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Religious Education and Youth Ministry

LifeGuides are a team of resident parishioners, college students, and confirmed high school students who are committed to assisting the youth of the St. Tom’s parish. They are instrumental in planning, organizing, and implementing the activities for the youth. The individuals involved in LifeGuides share their faith through service projects, retreats, and social events.

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Meet This Year’s Interns


Mitchell Struewing

LifeGuides Coordinator

Year: Junior

Major: Pharmacy

About Me: I am from the eastside of Indianapolis, Indiana where I grew up with my two younger siblings and loving parents. I grew up volunteering a lot with my dad at St. Vincent de Paul, the Knight’s of Columbus, and our church’s summer festival. I got involved in St. Tom’s playing cello in the 9 AM choir and teaching 4th grade and 7th grade, a semester each. My favorite thing about St. Tom’s and Purdue has been getting to make so many new, amazing friendships (and I cannot wait to make more). Some fun facts about me: I have an obsession with grapes and they are my go-to snack all day, every day. I also crave a nice cup of tea quite often (hot or iced; sweet or unsweet). I love listening to new music and then searching YouTube for instrumental covers (look up Brooklyn Duo, they are my favorite). I want to get to know you and see what all we have in common, so whenever you see me feel free to stop and chat! I want for us all to grow not only in our friendships, but especially in our faith, together through LifeGuides. Let’s have a great year!

Favorite Bible Verse: “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, for when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life that God promised to those who love him.” – James 1:12

This verse reminds me to hang in there even when times are rough. Life may be full of suffering, uncertainties, and temptation, but in the end God has a plan and a glorious future for us.


Erin Bodenbach

LifeGuides Secretary

Year: Junior

Major: Neurobiology & Physiology

About Me: As the only child to two loving parents, I was born and raised in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Coming from two devout Catholic families, a parochial education was always something that my parents valued and wanted to provide. As a result, I attended a Catholic grade school and continued my education at a Catholic high school. In high school, my faith grew immensely. Despite several hardships, I was able to grow closer to God. Suffering allowed me to deepen my trust in God and remember that it is all part of His plan. Coming to Purdue, I knew that I wanted to continue in my faith journey by being active in the St. Tom’s community. Joining LifeGuides last fall as the LifeGuides Secretary was an amazing opportunity! I was able to continue working on my own faith while making an impact on the lives of young children. I am excited to be returning this fall, and I hope to continue my growth in faith and in my leadership skills.

Favorite Bible Verse: “Consider it all joy, my brothers, when you encounter various trials, for you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.” James 1:2-3

When I read this verse, it reminds me that there is a greater purpose to all our trials and tribulations. It is through our suffering that we are able to grow in strength and deepen our faith.


Lexi Shriver

Special Education Intern

Year: Purdue’s Second Degree Program

Major: Nursing

About Me: I’m a born and bred Boilermaker who grew up as the daughter of two educators. I’m from a small town just north of Purdue called Reynolds, IN. I have already graduated from Purdue once with a Bachelor’s in Public Health, but I just couldn’t stay away. I’m back currently pursuing a Bachelor’s in Nursing through Purdue’s Accelerated Second Degree program! In my first four years at Purdue, I had the joy of pouring my heart into the incredible organization that is Dance Marathon and have been serving as a Resident Assistant for the past 3 years. I also just spent my last summer working at a camp for children with all sorts of varying abilities, which changed my entire world for the better. I obviously have a burning passion for service, education, and working with children/other people, which is what led me to join LifeGuides this past year. I had the most incredible experience helping out with the Special Education Program and growing closer to the wonderful community we have here at St. Tom’s. God put it on my heart to get more involved, so I applied for the intern position. I am overjoyed to be working alongside so many other dedicated disciples of Christ as we educate and inspire our future generations to grow closer to God this coming year!

Favorite Bible Verse: “Jesus sat down opposite the place where the offerings were put and watched the crowd putting their money into the temple treasury. Many rich people threw in large amounts. But a poor widow came and put in two very small copper coins, worth only a few cents. Calling his disciples to him, Jesus said, “Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put more into the treasury than all the others. They all gave out of their wealth; but she, out of her poverty, put in everything—all she had to live on.” – Mark 12: 41 – 44

I love this passage because it reminds me to be a giver, even when it’s hard. We are called to live our lives for Christ and to act as he would. When times got tough for Jesus, He did not turn away and take the easy route; He put his faith in his father and gave all he had because he knew this is what God wanted. He knew God would take care of him no matter what happened, so long as he was doing as his father asked. Everything Jesus did was done to please God, and I want to do the same with my own life. Being a future nurse, an RA, and holding many other servant-minded positions, I often work myself to the bone caring for others. A wise priest once told me it is easy to get burned out if we forget who we’re doing all these good things for. When I feel as though I have nothing left in my tank, I look to this passage so I remember to give all that I have until I have nothing left… and then to give just a little bit more because that is what God has asked of me; because that is how I glorify Him each day.


Elizabeth Christovich

Elementary Intern

Year: Junior

Major: Elementary Education

About Me: I’m from Potomac, Maryland, right outside of Washington, D.C. and I am the oldest of five. My brother’s a sophomore at Northeastern and my sister is a freshman at University of Miami, so my siblings bring me two fun vacation spots! Saying that, I really enjoy traveling and want to explore more of the world in the future! One of my favorite trips has been to Honduras, where I had the opportunity to teach for a couple of weeks. I am so passionate for education and guiding children to explore who they are and the world around them, in addition to their life with Christ. I love being able to pursue this passion through LifeGuides! Specifically, I taught first grade for the past two years (and loved it!). Outside of St. Tom’s, I work at Ben and Maxine Miller Child Development Labratory School, I’m involved in BGR, I’m a tutor for mathematics education, and I’m involved in several organizations through the College of Education. I love being able to stay busy and gain experience in a variety of my interests, while connecting them all back to my life with God. I am really looking forward to serving as the Elementary School Intern and continuing to make an impact on the lives of these amazing children around us!

Favorite Bible Verse: “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous hand.” – Isaiah 41:10

Reading this verse fills me with great courage and comfort. God is always present and during times of stress or worry, this is so alleviating and encouraging. We are all constantly growing and supported through God, which we can remember during the good and the not-so-good times.


Lisa Goelzhauser

Middle School Intern

Year: Super Senior

Major: Mechanical Engineering Technology

About Me: I’m from Cibolo, Texas. I grew up in a military family so I’ve lived in Ohio, Massachusetts, Guam, Delaware, and then Texas. Due to moving so much, I love to travel and have been all over the place!
Throughout high school I participated in Teen ACTS retreats, Steubenville South youth conferences and Steubenville LEAD. I came to Purdue looking for ways to get involved at St. Tom’s. I joined the Lifeguides program my sophomore year and love the amazing impact that we have on small children. I taught First Grade my sophomore year and then First Communion my junior year. Last year I was the Elementary Intern and I’m finishing off my super senior year as the Middle School Intern!

Favorite Bible Verse: “Set before you are fire and water. To whichever you choose, stretch out your hand.” – Sirach 15:15

This verse was actually a theme on one of my high school retreats and I’ve always loved it. Everyday we have to make choices. Sometimes between good or bad, right or wrong, good or better, bad or worse, and more. But, it is always important to have God with you throughout these choices, no matter how small.


Logan Gauker

Confirmation Intern

Year: Junior

Major: Virtual Product Integration & Web Programming and Design

About Me: I’m from Carmel, Indiana but actually attend St. Maria Goretti Church in Westfield. My life has been full of ups and downs but it has all led me here so I’ll do my best to summarize. My family is non-denominational Christian and I was baptized at 13 years old. Little did I know that I would be attending a Catholic school instead of the large public school in the following years. My family ended up sending me to Guerin Catholic instead of Carmel only because of the amount of students. As I progressed in my high school years I began to come out of my shell and get involved with music, theatre, engineering, and tennis. Everything I did however had an aspect of Christ within it. As the years went by I found I was longing for something more and found it here in the Catholic Church. I’m glad to say that after having earned a driver’s license I began to attend Mass and eventually joined the Church the April, 15th 2017 at the Easter Vigil Mass. It was the best thing I’ve ever done and to this day God continues to work in my life from it all. I can’t wait to take over the position of Confirmation intern and see where God will take me next!

Favorite Bible Verse: “What man among you having a hundred sheep and losing one of them would not leave the ninety-nine in the desert and go after the lost one until he finds it? And when he does find it, he sets it on his shoulders with great joy and, upon his arrival home, he calls together his friends and neighbors and says to them, ‘Rejoice with me because I have found my lost sheep.’” (Luke 15:4-6).

This is my favorite passage because it truly resonates with my journey in the faith as well as how we should evangelize creating personal connections centered around Christ just as He did with everyone during His earthly ministry.