A glimpse into the zeal of the young Church

September 12, 2017

HOUSTON — This summer, the Office of Young Adult and Campus Ministry hosted its annual Café Catholica summer series, expanding it to five weekends and three different locations for the first time.

Hundreds attended the events, held on Monday nights, included Mass, free food, music and speakers, including Julie Fritsch, director of Pro-Life Activities.

Fritsch, who spoke on the first night, began the event with a challenge to widen the understanding of what it means to be “pro-life” as Catholics. In her talk “New Frontiers in Human Dignity,” she spoke about end- and beginning-of-life issues in which human dignity is threatened, and how young adults can participate in working for a good and just society.

The second night, in “A Call to Sainthood,” Father Luke Millette shared the story of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, a lover of mountain climbing and the arts who gave his life to political and social action.

A saying that Frassati had written on a photograph of one of his last climbs, 'verso l’alto,' which means “to the heights,” captures his thirst for God and ceaseless striving for heights of heaven.

Also that night, you adults had the privilege of listening to Kevin Becker, a young adult whose traumatic brain injuries were fully healed through Frassati’s intercession, a miracle that would help make Frassati, patron of young adults, a saint.

ecker described Frassati’s comforting presence with him during his comatose state, and the later joyful surprise of learning that this mysterious new “roommate” of his was indeed the same man whose intercession was sought by Becker’s mother in prayer immediately after his injury.

Father Agustino Torres, CFR, during his talk on “Seeking a Real Connection,”stirred hearts and minds as he described the nearness of God’s love for His people, imaged as a marriage in the book of Hosea, and how the faithful can imitate that love in different stages of relationship.

In “The Church’s Response,” Daniel Cardinal Dinardo described the process of discernment through the lens of Jesus’ parables in Matthew 13.

He urged attendees to develop a vibrant prayer life, beginning by praying for three minutes a day.

“Take one line of the Gospels and pray with it in light of your own experiences. This will change you,” Cardinal DiNardo said.

During the closing night, Sister Bethany Madonna, SV, urged young adults to “Be Not Afraid of God’s Call.”

She encouraged attendees to listen for the invitation that Jesus offers each of them, reminding them that to be human is to be loved by God. Madonna, who shared her own story of conversion, said “the Lord was playful in addressing [her] needs,” especially that of spiritual motherhood.

True chastity, she said, is “a way of thinking, seeing and receiving with openness and wonder.”