DANVILLE — The Roman Catholic Diocese of Harrisburg on Tuesday appointed Zachary Haney, 29, of Danville as director of youth and young adult ministries.
A seasoned youth and young adult leader, Haney began his new role with the diocese on September 12.
As Director of Youth and Young Adult Ministries, Haney is responsible for youth and young adult programs in the diocese, particularly the Diocesan Youth Council.
He is also responsible for supporting parish youth ministry programs and the diocesan CYO program, as well as serving as a liaison for Catholic Scouting.
It will support parish and regional gatherings of young adults, including Theology on Tap, and support the work of Catholic Campus Ministry for colleges and universities in the diocese.
Haney will be the primary point of contact for parishes interested in developing local youth and young adult ministry programs.
“Yeah, it’s a job with a lot of responsibility,” Haney said Tuesday night from his home near Harrisburg. “I’ve only been on the job for three weeks, so I meet a lot of people. At some point we will develop a strategy for moving forward.
“Our Diocese’s youth and young adult programs have been blessed with the addition of Zachary. Not only does he bring a wealth of experience working with young people, but also a deep love for the Catholic faith and an understanding of the circumstances our young people face,” said Bishop Ronald W. Gainer of Harrisburg. “I am happy to welcome Zachary to our diocesan family and look forward to working with him in this important ministry for our diocese.”
“Zack has experienced the variety of programs and opportunities the church has to offer our youth and young adults,” said Deacon Gregory Amarante, Catholic Life and Evangelism secretary for the diocese. “He also understands the challenges and benefits of being a young person in today’s society. The search committee and I were impressed with Zack as a young and faithful Catholic and with his unique perspective in this area of ministry. We are blessed to have him and look forward to supporting our Catholic parishes, colleges and schools in ministry to our young Catholics.
“Youth, young adults and ministry on campus are all very near and dear to my heart,” Haney said. “They have been essential parts of my faith formation, where I feel like I have experienced the deepest growth in my relationship with God and my relationship with others. I hope I can help provide that same experience, through a sense of community and empowerment, to all the young people in our diocese.
“We are extremely proud of Zack,” his mother, Ginny Haney, said Tuesday.
“He works very hard and I think he will be very good at his job,” she said. “He has worked with children most of his career. He’s an excellent communicator, and that’s one of his best assets.
Haney was a swimmer in the Danville Area School District and also swam for the Sunbury YMCA as a child. He also spent a lot of time at Susquehanna University. That’s where Haney started coaching kids, Ginny said.
Haney holds a master’s degree in communication arts from the University of Marywood and a bachelor’s degree in financial planning, also from Marywood.
Prior to joining the diocese, he was Director of Aquatic Sports and Head Swimming and Diving Coach at Marywood University.
He has also been very active with the university’s campus ministry, including serving in various leadership roles with Volunteers in Action, the Youth Ministry Team and Bible Study, Alternative Break Mission Trips, and the Catholic Men’s Group.