Bachelor of Arts, English, 1999 | Director of the Archdiocese of Cincinnati Catholic Social Action Office
A Leading Role | Stieritz was named one of seven finalists for the Cardinal Bernardin New Leadership Award, a national honor celebrating young Catholics who demonstrate leadership in the cause of eliminating poverty in the U.S. “I never really thought of being recognized for some of my efforts,” he says.
Roots of Service | He became interested in social action in high school, drawing inspiration from three major sources—the consistent ethic of life movement, service opportunities for the poor, and Youth in Government.
A Strong Foundation | Xavier’s emphasis on service, peace and justice caught his attention. “Though I couldn’t articulate it at the time, I could tell that Catholic schooling gave me a safe and encouraging environment in which to really think about ‘the other.’ It led me to the discovery that believing in God also meant doing something to help create the kind of world that would make God most present among us.”
Delving Deep | Stieritz experienced a life-changing moment at Xavier when he went on a trip to El Salvador. “That experience opened my eyes to a greater and more complicated world. I understood what it meant to be a Christian in a very new and real way.”
Branching Out | Following graduation, he spent one year in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps, then returned to Xavier as an intern in the peace and justice programs. He followed that with three years at Working In Neighborhoods.
Finding a Niche | Stieritz joined the Archdiocese and now supports parish efforts to organize and promote peace and justice issues; represents the Archdiocese on some public policy and social issues; trains Catholics to advocate and take action on public policy; administers the Catholic Campaign for Human Development and Catholic Relief Services locally; and staffs the Catholic Rural Life Conference.
Family Matters | He married alumnae Jessica Ballew at Bellarmine Chapel in April. She’s also dedicated to service, working for the Cooperative for Education, a non-profit group that provides textbooks to Guatemalan children.