John Klarmann
John Klarmann
Burlington County native John Klarmann is returning to familiar territory, joining the staff of Our Lady of Perpetual Help Parish, Maple Shade, as the new parish catechetical leader in September.

But the range of experiences he brings to the position has come by way of his serving as a missionary, working in youth ministry and evangelization, and having had his own “profound encounter with Christ” as a college student in Montclair State University, Montclair.

“That was where I fell in love with our faith and with Christ,” he said of his alma mater, where in 2015 he earned a bachelor of science degree in physical education with a concentration in physical activity in an educational setting.

“It was that encounter with Jesus in the Eucharist that led me to want to share the Gospel with everyone I met,” he said.

His passion for the faith also led him and his wife, Ariel – who were married in 2016 in Sacred Heart Church, Mount Holly – to become missionaries with the Fellowship of Catholic University Students at the University of Maine.

After four years in Maine, the young couple moved to Corpus Christi, Texas, where Klarmann became director of youth discipleship and evangelization in St. Philip the Apostle Parish. Ariel took on the role of parish adult faith formation assistant. This year, the couple adopted their son, Peter James, who is seven months old.

Klarmann is happy to return to New Jersey, pursue his master’s degree in theology and begin his new position, in which he will lead the religious education and adult faith formation programs.

“At the end of Matthew’s Gospel, Jesus gives the Great Commission, ‘Go, therefore, and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you,’” Klarmann said. “If we fail to share the Good News of Jesus Christ, which is central to catechesis, we fail to be disciples of Christ.”