Kirsten Thorstad Named Parish Life Director of Good Shepherd in Campton

LEXINGTON — Kirsten Thorstad has been named Parish Life Director (PLD) of Catholic Church of the Good Shepherd in Campton, Ky., beginning Feb. 16. Thorstad, a Milwaukee native who grew up in California and Colorado, has worked for the Catholic Church for over 28 years, 26 of those in the Diocese of San Bernardino, Calif., most recently as Pastoral Coordinator at St. Martha Catholic Church in Murrieta.

“Empowering others to live their faith, know of God’s love for them and serve God and one another is what keeps me in ministry,” Thorstad says.

In Campton, Thorstad will succeed Sister Susan Marie Pleiss, who in January became formation director for the Sisters of St. Francis in Oldenburg, based in Indiana. As St. Martha’s in Murrieta is one of the largest parishes in the San Bernardino diocese, with over 8,000 households, 40 employees and 60 ministries, including a community food program and thrift store, Thorstad looks forward to a more intimate and connected setting for her ministry.

“The people of Good Shepherd in Campton have been well taken care of over these many years,” says Thorstad. “My hope is to continue Sister Susan Marie’s good ministerial work, bringing Christ to the community and meeting the needs of those served through the programs of Good Shepherd Church.”

She looks forward to knowing people by name and hearing everyone’s stories. She will be joined in Campton by her son, Kenny, who is 37. An accomplished musician, he hopes to immerse himself in the music of Appalachia.

Thorstad has a master’s in pastoral studies from Loyola University, Chicago and an M.B.A. from the University of Phoenix. She has completed most of her coursework for her Doctor of Management in Organizational Leadership and is also working on her Spiritual Direction Certificate through Loyola University, Chicago. Her undergraduate studies were in Business and Education. She served on numerous diocesan committees, including the Behavioral Health Commission, Catholic Women’s Commission and the Ministerial Personnel Placement Board.

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