FALL RIVER ─ At the conclusion of its work last year, the Youth and Young Adult Commission that met as part of the Fall River Diocesan Rebuilding in Faith and Hope planning initiative presented a series of recommendations to Bishop Edgar M. da Cunha, S.D.V. Principal among these was a recommendation to bring together “evangelizing efforts in faith formation, youth ministry, young adult ministry, campus ministry, and family life ministry under one unifying umbrella.”
An integral part of that recommendation called for the creation of a senior-level position to oversee the implementation, development and effectiveness of this unified and comprehensive approach, and an extensive search process was launched earlier this year to find the right candidate for the post. Last month, Bishop da Cunha named a Fall River native who has worked the past several years in Catholic youth ministry and education in New Jersey and New York to serve in this critical role.
David G. Carvalho (in photo) began as the new Senior Director, Youth, Young Adult, and Family Life Ministries for the Fall River Diocese on August 24, 2020.
In his position, he will lead the ongoing development of, and provide support for, youth, young adult and family life programs and services in parishes, agencies and institutions within the Fall River Diocese. He will report directly to Bishop da Cunha and will work in partnership with diocesan Director of Strategic and Pastoral Planning Laura Carrillo as well as with other diocesan leaders.
“I welcome David as he begins his important work with us,” said Bishop da Cunha.
“In its report to me, the Youth and Young Adult Commission pointed out correctly that, ‘The future growth of the Church depends upon our ability to effectively evangelize youth and their families.’ The Senior Director position will serve as the linchpin in the implementation of the Commission’s other recommendations to strengthen and expand our efforts in ministry to our young people and families. David has a strong background and possesses a true desire to nurture discipleship; I am confident he is prepared to lead us forward.”
For his part, Carvalho says he is pleased with the opportunity to serve here in the diocese where he was born and raised.
“Growing up in the Diocese of Fall River, I was formed by several of the diocesan programs, such as CLI and the YES! Retreat,” he said. “Having the opportunity to come back to the Diocese that sparked in me a love for Christ and His Church and aid it in doing the same for others was something I couldn’t ignore.”
For him, the work ahead is not simply as a job, but a vocation.
“Ensuring the longevity and viability of the Diocese and its parishes, especially as it relates to forming intentional disciples, is very personal to me.
“My hope is to be able to assess the Diocese’s current state and, in collaboration with various pastors, lay staff, and parishioners, work to address the current needs and opportunities, especially as they relate to families and young people.”
Carvalho brings to the new job experience in ministry with youth and young adults in both parish and school settings. He was most recently director of Youth Ministry at St. Teresa of Avila Parish in Summit, New Jersey. As such, he planned and directed a comprehensive youth program for grades 5 through 12, including design of the confirmation preparation and in-person and digital catechesis programs; leadership of the RCIA and RCIT (Rite of Christian Initiation for Teens); and implementation of use of social media to support youth ministry endeavors.
He began his work with young people with service in Capuchin Youth and Family Ministries, based in Garrison, N.Y., after which he became a youth minister at a parish, St. Edward the Confessor, in Clifton Park, N.Y.
In between his work in parishes, Carvalho was a theology teacher at Catholic Central High in Troy, N.Y., serving as the department chair for two years. While there, he was also for a time part of the online faculty of the Burlington, Vermont diocese’s St. Therese Digital Academy, for which he designed and taught online theology courses for high school-age students.
While in the New York-New Jersey area, Carvalho lead a number of workshops for youth ministry training and was a frequent presenter at middle school and high school retreats.
Carvalho holds a master’s degree in Religious Education from Fordham University and a bachelor’s degree in Religious Studies from Siena College from which he graduated magna cum laude.
He grew up in Fall River, a member of the city’s Espirito Santo Parish, and is a graduate of the parish’s elementary school and of Bishop Connolly High School.
He and his wife are the parents of a three-year-old son and a three-month-old daughter.