The Torch Team exists to witness transformation through developing a friendship with Jesus and one another in small group communities. We seek to be personally transformed in Christ by supporting each other as small group leaders, then journeying with students on campus as we encounter the Spirit of Truth in Jesus.

By joining a small group with two of our leaders, you can meet great, like-minded people, read the Bible together as a community, learn about yourself and others, and more!

Join us once a week at one of the times below for faith-based discussions and community! We’d love to have you.

Sign Up Here

Upon launching of small groups during the Fall 2022 semester, expect a response and placement into a small group within 2 weeks of submitting interest (most attendees are contacted a week before Labor Day for the Fall semester). If you request a specific leader/leaders, please include it in the box at the bottom of the Google Form!

If you cannot view the above form, click here.

Feel free to reach out with any questions to the student coordinators below:
Joseph Siml:
Isabelle Boyle:
Zane Innabi:

Small Group Leaders

Ryan — Hi, I’m Ryan and I’m a 4th-year studying Graphic Design. I’m from Tucson and I’m in an a cappella group here on campus!

The Lord has given me much joy, and becoming a small group leader allows me to take that joy and share it with others, as well as allows me to deeper my connections with others in our journey to know Christ deeper.

Jaret — I am a native Tucsonan studying computer engineering. As a side project, I built a wearable RGB led light suit that I could dance in.

The reason why I became a small group leader, is because small groups are the first community in the church that many students will find, and it is rewarding to be a part of that work.

Anthony — Hi! My name is Anthony Traicoff and I am a native Tucsonian. I am currently a pre-nursing major and I hope to start at the College of Nursing this spring. A fun fact about me is I love working on cars and can often be found at car show around Tucson.

The reason I decided to be a part of the Torch Team is because I have been so blessed over the past two years with the people I have met through Newman. The opportunities I have been given through the Newman center have set me on fire for my faith and I hope to be able to share this with all of you over the coming semesters!

Manuel — Hey there! My name is Manuel Espinosa, I am a Civil engineering major. I was born and raised in Hermosillo, Mexico.

I became a Torch leader because I would like to share the same wonderful experience that I had to newcomers while meeting new people. I am a former horse jumping athlete and enjoy cooking with my friends

Lucia — Hi my name is Lucia Aguilar and I’m a T-lo aka from Tucson! I am a psychology major and a New Testament and Literature minor. A fun and random fact about me is that I can eat chicken wings without getting it all over my face.

The main reason I want to become a small group leader is to grow closer in God’s word! I think it’s full of His truth and He’s constantly speaking to us through it, so it’s important to keep growing in it!

Whitney — Hi, I’m Whitney and I’m from Rio Rico. A fun fact about me is that I used to have a gap tooth!

I became a small group leader because small groups are what helped shape my faith and I love to be surrounded by people studying the word of God! It is a great sense of community with accountability.

Maddy — My name is Maddy Fishes and I am a Nutritional Sciences major! I am from Tucson and a fun fact about me is in high school I braided so many heads of hair for band (I also styled a lot of people’s hair for prom nights)- my record for a football game was about 30(ish) heads!

When I was in Dani’s and Michael’s small group I saw that value of having that small group/community coming together and supporting each other through good and bad times; I knew then I wanted to do exactly that. I want to create a safe space for my future attendees of my small group. I want to have that space to share those good and bad moments together and learn and grow together through our relationship with Jesus.

Piper — My name is Piper Johnston, and I’m a second year in college majoring in chemistry. I’m from the raging hot desert of Phoenix, AZ, and a fun fact about me is that I love learning how to do different accents. So far, I have a pretty good British and Russian one.

I wanted to become a small group leader because they were some of the most important people that helped shape my faith life. They were always people I looked up to and felt like I could tell them and ask them anything. They were so kind, selfless, and always willing to help, so if I can be that person for somebody else, I will.

Katrina L — Hi! My name is Katrina, and I am from Dallas, TX. I’m a sophomore majoring in economics. A fun fact about me is that my current bubble tea order is ginger milk tea.

I became a small group leader because I want to provide a space where you can feel comfortable having conversations no matter what season of faith/life you’re experiencing. Small groups have been the most formative communities for my faith, and I’m excited to be able to give back as a small group leader!

Federico — Hello, my name is Federico Fernandez, and I am a computer science major from Broomfield, Colorado.

I became a small group leader because of how helpful my experience in small groups was for my own faith life, and I wanted to help share that with others. I love skiing and hiking.

Katrina V — Hi y’all! My name is Katrina Vollmer and I’m from Flagstaff, AZ. I’m currently a sophomore majoring in Physiology with a minor in Spanish. A fun fact about me is that I can successfully bike around campus with no hands (until that bike gets stolen).

Alongside receiving support through the trials and tribulations of college life, small groups allowed me to find a close community within Newman with whom I could share, explore, and dive deeper into my faith with. I intend to foster that same atmosphere for others in my small group!

Morgan — Hello! My name is Morgan Yadron and I am majoring in Psychology here at UofA. My hometown is Prescott, Arizona, and a fun fact about me is I love to oil paint and sell my art!

I became a small group leader because I want to be an example of Christ’s love, lead magnanimously, and ensure others know the mercy and grace of our Lord while growing in faith. I am excited to be a part of the Torch Team!

Student Coordinators

Major: Mathematics, with a Minors in Computer Science & Ancient Greek

I became a small group leader so that I could walk with other students in their faith and have community in Christ. I found both participating and leading small groups to be spiritually enriching, and I am excited to be a small group coordinator this year.

Major: Retailing & Consumer Science
Hometown: Peoria, AZ
Fun Fact: I like to jump out of airplanes!

The reason I said yes to becoming a small group leader was because I saw how much of an impact the small group I attended had on me and my peers. It really helped all of us grow a deeper relationship with Christ in fellowship with one another.

Major: Architecture
Hometown: Tucson, AZ
Fun Fact: I like chess

I became a small group leader in 2019 and have been doing it ever since! I love small groups because they allow me to better build my relationship with Jesus through service and careful attention to scripture. It is a privilege to help build the Newman Community!

Fr. Emmanuel Taylor, O.P. – Associate Pastor
Torch Team Advisor

Small Group FAQ’s

Q: I’m a student, but I don’t attend the University of Arizona. Can I still come to small groups?

A: Yes! Small groups are open to students attending any institution of higher learning, whether online or in-person.

Q: I’m a graduate student. Can I come? 

A: Torch small groups are intended for undergraduate students ages 17-23. Graduate students or students older than 23 are encouraged to join the Young Adult Community, which hosts its own version of small groups. You can find more information (including a discord invite link) here:

Q: I’m not Catholic. Am I welcome?

A: Emphatically, YES! We welcome everyone, including those who aren’t Catholic. We hope that you’ll make new friends and learn more about our faith by coming.

Q: I don’t know a lot about the Bible; will that make me stand out?

A: No, it won’t! A fair percentage of a given small group has little to no prior knowledge of the Bible. 

Q: How long are small groups/do I need my own Bible?

A: Small groups are typically 60-90 minutes long, meeting weekly. Bibles are provided!

Q: What is your COVID-19 Protocol?

A: We follow the University of Arizona’s policies. Currently, masking indoors is encouraged by not required.

Visit @uacatholic on Instagram to follow The Torch Team on updates!