Praise with music: Conrad is music minister and middle school youth leader at Immaculate Conception Church

Sunday, June 12, 2011
Hallie Conrad is an active member of Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Jackson, Mo. (Kristin Eberts)

Hallie Conrad serves the Lord at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church in Jackson as a music minister and middle school youth leader. A recent graduate of Notre Dame Regional High School in Cape Girardeau and the daughter of Robert and Gayle Conrad, Hallie enjoys cheerleading, playing piano, singing, swimming and doing anything outdoors. She was recently honored as the Knights of Columbus Youth of the Year, an honor awarded to one youth in Missouri who is actively involved in church. Here Hallie shares about leading music and middle schoolers for God.

How long have you been involved at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church? My whole life.

How long have you been actively involved in your church? At least eight years.

What do you love about your church; what makes it special? I love the music ministry; I'm very involved in that ministry. I also like the people at our church -- they come up afterward to say thank you and that you did a good job.

How are you involved in the church? I'm involved in the music ministry -- I play piano and sing. I'm also involved in youth group, and I'm a leader for a program called Kaboom that is a youth group high school students lead for sixth-, seventh- and eighth-graders.

How did you become involved as a music minister and middle school youth leader? In the second or third grade I started taking piano lessons from the music director at our church and as soon as I learned church music I started playing at Mass. I've been playing at Mass ever since. For Kaboom, once you become a junior if you're really involved in youth group, our youth leader Kim asks if you want to be involved as a leader, and I said yes.

What is your favorite part about being a music minister? Making everybody happy and seeing the joy on people's faces. I like that they enjoy what I do to help out in the church.

What's your favorite worship song? That's hard -- there's so many! My favorite one is probably "How Beautiful."

How did you earn the Knights of Columbus Youth of the Year award? I didn't know much about it until a couple of months ago when my youth leader Kim called me and said she wanted to nominate me for Youth of the Month. She said she needed my resume and picture to send in for it. I was chosen for the Youth of the Month Award. Then, from the kids who were Youths of the Month, I found out I was selected for Youth of the Year.

What has God been teaching you lately? How to love and accept everyone, no matter what circumstances they come from. I especially see it with youth group and Kaboom, because lots of different people come to that.

How are you a witness for Christ outside of church? I do other Christian service activities and live my life by not judging others and like God would want me to live it, and by loving everybody.

What is one of your favorite things about God? God loves and accepts you. No matter what you've done, he will always forgive you.

What are your plans for the future? I will be attending Southeast Missouri State University in the fall. I plan on becoming either a middle school or high school teacher and want to teach in a Catholic school in the area. I also plan on staying involved in my church.

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