Detroit Stories Episode 70: 'The Katarina Effect' (PODCAST)

How a youth minister with an unyielding generosity and love for God continues to make an impact five years after her death

(0:05) The narrator introduces the listening audience to Katarina Goitz, a bright, compassionate youth minister with a big heart for God, service to others and an unyielding desire to do the Lord’s will. Katarina’s life was tragically cut short on June 24, 2019, when she was killed in a car accident.

(3:12) Dr. Henry Goitz and Dr. Lorraine Armstrong, Katarina’s parents, reflect on their daughter’s infectious generosity and compassion. They give examples of Katarina’s selfless nature, including giving the shoes off her feet to a person in need.

(5:55) A recording is played from a podcast in which Katarina was interviewed in 2017, speaking about her desire to make an impact as a youth minister.

(8:53) Katarina’s parents describe her personality as a young child, and how from an early age she was always thinking of others. They talk about a gesture she made during her first Communion, asking guests to donate to charity instead of for her own benefit.

(12:09) Katarina’s career discernment took many twists and turns. Her parents describe her desire for pastoral work, and how during college she volunteered doing service work in poor areas around the United States. She eventually enrolled in ECHO, a graduate program through the University of Notre Dame, and took a job as a youth minister in Galveston, Texas.

(17:19) Katarina’s parents describe how even in the days leading up to her passing, Katarina continued to make a difference in the lives of others, in both deed and in prayer. To keep Katarina’s memory and legacy alive, Henry and Lorraine formed the Katarina Goitz Foundation, providing grassroots support and funding for youth ministers to provide opportunities for more young people.

(23:58) Sergio Cortes, a friend of Katarina’s and a fellow ECHO graduate, speaks about how his youth group benefitted from the foundation.

(27:17) Henry and Lorraine talk about Katarina’s enduring legacy, and how her example of faith helped them navigate the years following her death — including allowing them the grace and strength to forgive the man who was responsible. They read a letter one of Katarina’s youth group participants wrote about the difference she made in her life.

Reporting and script by Gabriella Patti; narration and production by Ron Pangborn

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Youth ministry AOD-REC: April - Article Bottom