Sarubbi readies children, teens to lead Catholic lives

January 17, 2024 at 11:50 a.m.
Laura Sarubbi pauses at the Mount Carmel Guild Gala Oct. 20, 2023, for a photo with her husband and daughters, from left: Anna, Kate, Joe, Laura and Teresa. Joe and Laura were honored at the Gala with the Guild Appreciation Award. Courtesy photo
Laura Sarubbi pauses at the Mount Carmel Guild Gala Oct. 20, 2023, for a photo with her husband and daughters, from left: Anna, Kate, Joe, Laura and Teresa. Joe and Laura were honored at the Gala with the Guild Appreciation Award. Courtesy photo

By EmmaLee Italia, Contributing Editor

The following story is part of BE INSPIRED, a new feature of The Monitor reporting on ordinary people who inspire others through their extraordinary stories.

Laura Sarubbi’s ear-to-ear smile is one of the first things young people encounter when they enter the religious education program in St. Paul Parish, Princeton, or the halls of Notre Dame High School, Lawrenceville.

“I had a dream that began over 25 years ago to help children and families on life’s journey,” she said. “Never did I imagine this was what God had planned for me.”

Sarubbi, a St. Paul parishioner since 2000, has embraced the spectrum of K-12 Catholic education through her full-time job as NDHS’s vice president of enrollment management and marketing, and as part-time director of religious education for her home parish. Her welcoming presence is accompanied by a self-effacing nature.

“You need to keep it real. I laugh at myself … a lot,” she said. “Students and their families need to know you have their back … be present, listen, let them know you truly care about them and mean it.”

When her triplet daughters began attending St. Paul School in 2008, Sarubbi joined them there as a teacher. When in 2016 they went on to Notre Dame, Sarubbi soon had a working knowledge of both communities – and some divine direction.

“I have never really searched for a job but have been open to [where] the Holy Spirit guides me,” she said. “I realized that supporting our faith with children and our families was where I needed to be.”

That openness led her to accept the enrollment position at NDHS shortly after her daughters became students there. Then in 2021, she sat, weekend after weekend in St. Paul Church, hearing about the DRE opening.

“I could hear my grandmother’s voice in my head saying, ‘Laura, you’ve got to do something,’” she recalled. “Because of the pandemic, children and their families were away from the Church. I was the first one to complain that the pews were empty. So, heeding my own advice [that] you couldn’t identify a problem without offering a solution, I had to do my part.”

She credits parish volunteers who joined her efforts. “People came out of the woodwork. The staff at St. Paul’s are the most amazing people … [they] came up to me and said, ‘how can I help?’”

It quickly became clear to Sarubbi that “my ‘yes’ had a greater impact than I first imagined,” she noted. With her finger on the pulse of enrollment at NDHS, she saw the data indicated where students matriculate from — and many of those Catholic grammar schools have lower enrollment. “I am passionate about promoting Catholic education. Becoming DRE at St. Paul’s allows me to encourage students to consider our parish school [and] Notre Dame.”

Troubled by statistics indicating that more than 60% of children and teens leave their Catholic faith between ages 10 and 17, Sarubbi insists that “each one of us has an obligation to teach our young people about the beauty of our faith and its traditions … by being the face of Christ to everyone we meet … Yes, parents are the first educators of the faith – but they can’t do it alone.”

Young people need role models, she insisted, “to see people like them ... living their lives with faith.”

Her biggest joy “is when a parent thanks me for being a presence for them, or when their child wants to be a Catholic like Mrs. Sarubbi. It truly has nothing to do with me. I view myself as a gardener who prepares the soil … I let them know that they are loved unconditionally by a merciful God. Then, smarter people than I sow that dirt with the Word of God.”

The Church needs quality Catholic journalism now more than ever. Please consider supporting this work by signing up for a SUBSCRIPTION (click HERE) or making a DONATION to The Monitor (click HERE). Thank you for your support.


The following story is part of BE INSPIRED, a new feature of The Monitor reporting on ordinary people who inspire others through their extraordinary stories.

Laura Sarubbi’s ear-to-ear smile is one of the first things young people encounter when they enter the religious education program in St. Paul Parish, Princeton, or the halls of Notre Dame High School, Lawrenceville.

“I had a dream that began over 25 years ago to help children and families on life’s journey,” she said. “Never did I imagine this was what God had planned for me.”

Sarubbi, a St. Paul parishioner since 2000, has embraced the spectrum of K-12 Catholic education through her full-time job as NDHS’s vice president of enrollment management and marketing, and as part-time director of religious education for her home parish. Her welcoming presence is accompanied by a self-effacing nature.

“You need to keep it real. I laugh at myself … a lot,” she said. “Students and their families need to know you have their back … be present, listen, let them know you truly care about them and mean it.”

When her triplet daughters began attending St. Paul School in 2008, Sarubbi joined them there as a teacher. When in 2016 they went on to Notre Dame, Sarubbi soon had a working knowledge of both communities – and some divine direction.

“I have never really searched for a job but have been open to [where] the Holy Spirit guides me,” she said. “I realized that supporting our faith with children and our families was where I needed to be.”

That openness led her to accept the enrollment position at NDHS shortly after her daughters became students there. Then in 2021, she sat, weekend after weekend in St. Paul Church, hearing about the DRE opening.

“I could hear my grandmother’s voice in my head saying, ‘Laura, you’ve got to do something,’” she recalled. “Because of the pandemic, children and their families were away from the Church. I was the first one to complain that the pews were empty. So, heeding my own advice [that] you couldn’t identify a problem without offering a solution, I had to do my part.”

She credits parish volunteers who joined her efforts. “People came out of the woodwork. The staff at St. Paul’s are the most amazing people … [they] came up to me and said, ‘how can I help?’”

It quickly became clear to Sarubbi that “my ‘yes’ had a greater impact than I first imagined,” she noted. With her finger on the pulse of enrollment at NDHS, she saw the data indicated where students matriculate from — and many of those Catholic grammar schools have lower enrollment. “I am passionate about promoting Catholic education. Becoming DRE at St. Paul’s allows me to encourage students to consider our parish school [and] Notre Dame.”

Troubled by statistics indicating that more than 60% of children and teens leave their Catholic faith between ages 10 and 17, Sarubbi insists that “each one of us has an obligation to teach our young people about the beauty of our faith and its traditions … by being the face of Christ to everyone we meet … Yes, parents are the first educators of the faith – but they can’t do it alone.”

Young people need role models, she insisted, “to see people like them ... living their lives with faith.”

Her biggest joy “is when a parent thanks me for being a presence for them, or when their child wants to be a Catholic like Mrs. Sarubbi. It truly has nothing to do with me. I view myself as a gardener who prepares the soil … I let them know that they are loved unconditionally by a merciful God. Then, smarter people than I sow that dirt with the Word of God.”

The Church needs quality Catholic journalism now more than ever. Please consider supporting this work by signing up for a SUBSCRIPTION (click HERE) or making a DONATION to The Monitor (click HERE). Thank you for your support.

Have a news tip? Email [email protected] or Call/Text 360-922-3092

e-Edition


e-edition

Sign up


for our email newsletters

Weekly Top Stories

Sign up to get our top stories delivered to your inbox every Sunday

Daily Updates & Breaking News Alerts

Sign up to get our daily updates and breaking news alerts delivered to your inbox daily

Latest Stories


In Local News as of June 21, 2024
The following parishes, schools and organizations in the Diocese of Trenton have announced these upcoming events:

Father Koch: If we persist in our pleas, Jesus will calm the storms
In 1986 a first century fishing boat was discovered

Flag football debuted to rave reviews at St. Rose this spring
One of the fastest growing sports in the Shore Conference arrived at St. Rose of Belmar this past spring ...

Actress Siobhan Fallon Hogan focuses on faith, family at Theology on Tap
When a former Saturday Night Live star speaks at ...

US bishops pass new youth, young adult pastoral framework; it's a first in nearly 30 years
Just days after the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops ...


The Evangelist, 40 North Main Ave., Albany, NY, 12203-1422 | PHONE: 518-453-6688| FAX: 518-453-8448
© 2024 Trenton Monitor, All Rights Reserved.