|Year Joined MKLM: 2009
Country: El Salvador
City: San Salvador
Focus: Pastoral Care
Project(s): 1. St. Vincent de Paul Children's Home; 2. Youth Pastoral Agent for Our Lady of Lourdes Parish
People Served: 1. Approximately 35 babies;
2. More than 300 youth aged 14-25
Project Goal(s): 1. Provide basic care for abandoned, displaced and orphaned infants, including special needs children, from birth to 2 years old; 2. Youth Pastoral Agent for Our Lady of Lourdes Parish.
Nan Tyrolt joined MKLM in 2009. Originally from Decatur, IL, Nan earned her BA in Speech/ Communications in 1980 from Eastern Illinois University. She also went on to earn a National Certificate in Comprehensive Youth Ministry in 2003 from the Center for Ministry Development. Nan’s career has spanned radio announcer, advertising copywriter and producer, business owner, youth minister, and bookkeeper.
Nan has lived in many states and has most recently been an active parishioner of St. Leo in Stamford, CT, St. Bonaventure in Weston, FL, and St. Joseph in Manistee, MI. In every community and parish in which Nan has been a part, she has volunteered her time with different youth initiatives, and church and community-related organizations.
Nan is experienced in motivating, animating, launching, organizing, coordinating, delegating and overseeing groups and activities, and she has worked with youth of all ages. She brings her skills to her ministries in El Salvador.
Nan currently serves in two ministries. At St. Vincent de Paul Children’s Home, Nan Works directly with approximately 35 babies. The majority of children that live in the children’s home are “social” or “economic” orphans; most of their parents are living but are unable or unfit to care for them due to drug or alcohol abuse, incarceration, mental or physical illnesses, or extreme poverty. Prior to coming to St. Vincent’s, the children were either abandoned or removed from their unstable homes.
St. Vincent’s provides for the children’s basic needs in a safe, clean, loving environment. The home ensures that the children receive a dignified quality of life, good health, education, faith formation, community and affection. The home also seeks permanent placement for the children with a loving, safe family.
Nan’s second ministry calls for her to act as a Youth Pastoral Agent for Our Lady of Lourdes Parish. The community has approximately 40,000 people within its parameters. More than 300 community youth, aged 14-25, participate in Nan’s youth ministry. Hundreds of people are served by six primary youth ministries which include: Pastoral Care, Evangelization, Catechesis (including Confirmation Prep), Praise and Worship, Chorus and Social/Cultural.
One of the projects that Nan leads the youth in is the construction of housing for the poor. The youth are able to build a house, complete with concrete floor and cheery paint inside and out, in about three weeks, depending on weather and funding. As of 2011, two houses have been completed by Nan’s youth ministry.
The parish is located in-between rival gang territories so care must be taken to be sure kids who live on one side are restricted to home visits and projects within their own neighborhoods. There is also a risk that they could be coerced into joining gangs. Involvement in the church offers them some protection and distance from the dangers of street life.
The youth feel a great deal of ownership and pride when they participate in creating and maintaining the Youth parish. When the youth join in Nan’s projects as an alternative to gang-related activities, they actively help build a sense of community; they learn appropriate socializing; they feel a sense of accomplishment; they provide a needy family a safe home and more dignified life; and, they do all this in the spirit of living out their faith and discipleship.