Café Catholica: Exciting summer for young adults

June 13, 2017

There are some great things happening in the Church at the local, national and international level in which the young adults (18 to 30-plus) are the protagonists.

First, at the local level, our largest gathering of young adults, the Café Catholica dinner/speaker series, begins this month, where each night averages 700 young adults.

This year’s theme is “Be Not Afraid” and will be held at three different locations (west, central and north) in an attempt to better serve our young adults.

The team was inspired by this topic because on November 2016 Pope Francis announced that the Blessed Virgin Mary is at the heart of the themes for the upcoming World Youth Days (WYD), which are taken from the Gospel of Saint Luke: In 2017 the WYD theme is “The Mighty One has done great things for me,” and “Holy is His Name” (Lk 1:49); 2018 “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God” (Lk 1:30); and 2019: “I am the servant of the Lord. May it be done to me according to your word.” (Lk 1:38)

The themes are a continuation of the reflections begun by Pope Francis for the last three years, which focused on the Beatitudes. Pope Francis invites young people to have “memory of the past, courage for the present and to have/be hope for the future.” The themes “are intended to give a clear Marian tone to the spiritual journey of the next three years and at the same time they are inspired by the three theological virtues of faith, charity and hope.”

Café Catholica is a free event and you may show up at any time. It includes 5:15 p.m. confessions, 6:15 p.m. Mass, 7:15 p.m. dinner and 8:15 p.m. keynote speaker.

The locations this year will be St. Cyril of Alexandria (June 26), Catholic Charismatic Center (July 10, 17 and 24) and St. Simon and Jude in The Woodlands (July 31).

We are blessed to have an international speaker Sister of Life Bethany Madonna from New York City, a keynote speaker at World Youth Day in Poland. Sister Madonna will speak July 31 on “Be Not Afraid of God’s Call.” We will also host two national speakers including Father Agustino Torres, CFR, founder of Pure Heart in New York City who will speak July 17 about relationships “Seeking a Real Connection” and young adult Kevin Becker July 10 will share his testimony about a miracle related to Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati.

We will also host two local speakers, Julie Fritsch, director of the Office of Pro-Life Services, will speak June 26 on “New Frontiers in Defense of Human Dignity,” and Father Luke Millette, judicial vicar, who will speak with Becker July 10 about our call to sainthood by using the example of a young adult who was beatified by the Church: Blessed Frassati, patron of young adults.

Finally Daniel Cardinal DiNardo will celebrate Mass and give an address to all the young adults on July 24 at the Charismatic Catholic Center. Visit or call 713-741-8778 for more.

Second, at the national level there is a Fifth National Encuentro, an initiative of the United States Conference Catholic Bishops to discern ways in which the Church in the United States can better respond to the Hispanic/Latinos presence, and to strengthen the ways in which Hispanic/Latinos respond to the call of the new evangelization as missionary disciples serving the entire Church. The youth and young adults are at the center of this process or Encuentro. For more information visit

Third, at the international level, the Holy Father has asked the entire Church to direct their attention to young people (16 to 29 years old). Pope Francis chose the theme for the next Ordinary General Assembly of the Synod of Bishops in October 2018 to be “Young People, Faith and Vocational Discernment.” The Vatican put out a preparatory document for this Synod and sent a questionnaire to be answered by all the bishops in the world this summer.

We encourage you to answer the survey at
I encourage you to invite any young adult you know in your life to be part of these exciting opportunities during the summer at the local, national and international level.

They may attend Café Catholica or be part of the Fifth National Encuentro at their local parish or answer the questionnaire in preparation towards the next Synod. 

Gabriela Karaszewski is the director of the Archdiocesan Office of Young Adult and Campus Ministry.