Being Human Podcast - Episode 114: Psychology, Youth Ministry & What Your Teen Wants Most, w/ Mari Pablo

podcast Jan 01, 2020

Welcome to Episode 114 of the Being Human Podcast: Psychology, Youth Ministry & What Your Teen Wants Most, w/ Mari Pablo

This week on Being Human, Dr. Greg welcomes Catholic speaker and ministry consultant Mari Pablo to the show for a conversation focused on her experience working with youth and young adults in the Church and the importance of an integration of psychology with faith in ministry. Mari also shares what she finds young people are lacking and longing for most in our current culture, as well as what can be done to provide for what they want most.

Discussed in this episode:

  • Meet Mari Pablo!
  • Ways in which Mari’s experience working in a juvenile detention facility helped to prepare her for youth ministry;
  • How training for the real life of discipleship requires an understanding of psychology and the faith; 
  • What are the most prevalent issues among youth and young adults now?
  • The increasing avoidance and resistance to real communication and connection among younger generations; 
  • Trusting your gut as a parent and learning to be okay with your children being mad at you for setting necessary limits; 
  • How the belief that true love is not possible among youth and young adults impacts their view of devotion and commitment;   
  • Mari’s experience of growing up in a Hispanic home and culture; 
  • The increasing desire for - and corresponding fear of - vulnerable and authentic friendships and relationships among teenagers; 
  • What Mari sees teenagers desiring most, and how adults can provide that for them. 

Resources mentioned or relevant:

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About Mari Pablo 

Mari Pablo grew up in a devout, always supportive, boisterous Hispanic family in South Florida. She graduated from Franciscan University with a double major in theology and psychology; she also holds a Master of Theology from the Augustine Institute. She has worked in youth ministry for over 15 years, including being a youth minister in New Orleans, and a high school theology teacher in Miami. She is currently serving parishes and universities across the country with The Evangelical Catholic.

Mari has been a presenter for Ascension Press in numerous projects and is well known for her dynamic presentations at the annual Steubenville Youth Conferences, NCYC, NET, Life Teen events, FOCUS conference, diocesan events and more. Mari has a deep love for food but an even greater love for Christ and is dedicated to helping others encounter Him.


About Dr. Greg Bottaro and the CatholicPsych Institute

Dr. Greg Bottaro is a Catholic psychologist, founder of the CatholicPsych Institute, and developer of the CatholicPsych Model of Applied Personalism (CPMAP). He received his Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the Institute for the Psychological Sciences, a graduate school that integrates Catholic philosophy and theology with sound, empirically validated psychology.

Before his degree, Dr. Bottaro discerned a religious vocation with the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal (CFRs). He lived four years in the Bronx, serving the poor in the tradition of St. Francis of Assisi. Under the mentorship of Fr. Benedict Groeschel, this experience helped him form a spirituality based on Abandonment to Divine Providence which he now applies to psychological principles in his practice. He learned from Fr. Benedict how to discern God's voice and live a life in service to others.

Six years after leaving NYC as a friar, he returned as a psychologist. The CatholicPsych Institute began there in 2012 and has since continued to expand, now serving clients around the globe.

Dr. Bottaro currently lives in Connecticut with his wife Barbra and their seven children. He actively avoids watching the news and spends his free time thinking up crazy new ideas on how to make the world a better place.