Jacob Downey, of South Range, is serving with NET Ministries for the 2023-24 academic year. In a personal message in the parish bulletins for the Superior cluster, the 20-year-old shared, “I have been a member of the Superior Diocese for five years and within the past months, I have been taking my faith much more seriously. I have been looking for a way to live out my faith and my calling to serve while also bringing others to Christ.”

Downey, a lifelong Catholic, first heard of NET attending a retreat put on by the youth group at the Cathedral of Christ the King.

“Having heard the call to serve, I decided the best place to go was NET Ministries,” he added.

He will be one of three Wisconsinites among 120 young adults who have been divided into 14 teams. Using relational ministry, the nonprofit organization brings the message of Christ to young Catholics in either a retreat setting or discipleship groups stationed in one place for the year. Since 1981, NET has reached 80 percent of dioceses in the U.S. and hosted or led more than 36,000 retreats.

Downey will be serving on a retreat team that will travel the Upper Midwest through Minnesota, mid-Wisconsin, Michigan and Northern Iowa. They will spend the second half of the year in northern California and the Pacific Northwest.

Every NET missionary is asked to raise funds to cover expenses for the team. On average, the missionaries’ goal is $10,000-$12,000 and this is met by approximately 30 donors with one-time donations ranging from $50-500. Monthly pledges of smaller amounts are also accepted and appreciated.

To support Jacob Downey, visit https://netusa.org/supportamissionary. There are options for one-time gifts and pledges. Under the dropdown menu, search for Downey Jacob. Cash or check donations can be mailed to 110 Crusader Avenue West, West Saint Paul, MN, 55118, with Jacob Downey’s name in the memo line.

Downey started his adventure on Aug. 16 and expressed his excitement and gratitude for the opportunity to serve with NET and entrusted the fundraising efforts to God’s will.