Cafe Connect Discussion Groups

Café Connect Discussion groups are a great way to make new Catholic young adult connections in Houston. The Connect Groups run in conjunction with the summer Café Catholica program.

Café Connect Discussion Groups

We invite all young adults (ages 18-39) to sign up for a Café Connect Discussion Group. These groups will meet (online or in-person) once a week during the month of July/August in conjunction with the main Café Catholica program. We will have more than 20 groups available, so young adults can sign up for a time/location that works with their schedule. Registration slots are limited. 

Don’t miss this opportunity to connect with other Catholic young adults through Café Catholica. 

Registration is now open for 2022! We ask that young adults only sign up for ONE group for the season to ensure that there are enough spaces for all who are interested to participate.

Sign up here to join the Café Connect Discussion Group!


Café Connect Facilitators

Groups are limited to 10 people (first come, first served). Groups will meet on the following dates:

Tuesday meetings: July 12, 19, 26, August 2
Wednesday meetings: July 13, 20, 27, August 3
Thursday meetings: July 14, 21, 28, August 4
Saturday meetings: July 16, 23, 30, August 6

Tuesday

Tuesdays at 6:15 pm (Online): Ravi Gudur and Martin Malapira
Ravi attends St. Francis De Sales Catholic Church near Sharpstown and Martin likes to parish hop but is now attending Co-Cathedral.  Ravi enjoys playing/watching any sport that has a ball, hiking, and a good beer. Martin enjoys dancing (competitively, added by Ravi) and watching anime with a scotch in hand. We met on the 2022 Charis retreat as service team members and became impromptu travel buddies. We both are proud Catholics and love that the Church offers support and acceptance of each member regardless of background especially through young adult ministry.

Tuesdays at 6:30 pm (St. Bernadette Church, Houston): Daniel Ghan and Paul Merlau
Paul goes to Mary Queen in Friendswood, and Daniel goes to St Bernadette’s in Houston. We met about a year ago at Bay Area Young Adult Ministry (BAYAM), where Daniel is a leader. We also have a weekly Bible study. We hope any young adults in the bay area will join us!

Tuesdays at 7:00 pm (Corner Bakery at Echo Lane & I-10): Troy Anora and Marisa Creixell
Marisa & Troy are both graduates from Texas colleges! Marisa graduated in May 2019 from UT (Hook 'em Horns) & Troy graduated in December 2020 from Texas A&M (Gig 'em Ags). Marisa & Troy both enjoy outdoor activities like hiking & camping, and both also enjoy traveling. Fun facts: Marisa has gone skydiving before & Troy speaks three languages!

Tuesdays at 7:00 pm (Online): Rachel Alocer and Christy Martinez
Hi everyone, we are Rachel and Christy! We met through Café Catholica and are so excited to team up and grow in community! Christy works as a general manager for an optometry office and is a parishioner at St. Leo the Great. Christy loves to write and travel as much as she can to see the beautiful places God created. Rachel works as a Youth Minister and is a parishioner at both Epiphany of the Lord in Katy and Sts. Simon and Jude in the Woodlands! Rachel went to St. Mary’s University in San Antonio and graduated in 2011. Go Rattlers! Growing in faith and community is essential for the both of us. 😊 We can’t wait to see you at Cafe this year and get to know you better through our connect group!

Tuesdays at 7:30 pm (St. Ignatius, Spring): Brittany Prewitt and Shane Suico
Hi! We are Shane and Brittany and we are so excited to be Cafe Connect Facilitators for 2022! We are both teachers from Spring and are involved with St. Ignatius. Brittany has a dog named Daisy and is a huge Doctor Who fan. Shane is a fan of Sailor Moon and has two rabbits.  Shane’s favorite way to pray is adoration while Brittany’s favorite is to pray the rosary. We can’t wait to grow deeper in our faith with you!

Tuesdays at 7:30 pm (Online): Mike Blew and Pamela Centina
Mike is from St Joseph and Pam is from St Vincent De Paul. This is our third year helping with Café connect and we have really enjoyed our learning and spiritual growth we have experienced in prior years. We love the outdoors and connecting with others through all kinds of activities in Houston. We will be continuing to meet online as our schedules often bring us to various places around the city and this way we can connect with our group from anywhere.

SPANISH: Tuesdays at 7:45 pm (Prince of Peace, Tomball): Juan and Mirna Ochoa
We have been married for 11 years. We have worked with young adults and adolescents for more than 35 years together. Our hobbies are dancing, paintballing, camping, and hiking. This will be a bilingual session.

Wednesday

Wednesdays at 7:00 pm (Online): Kat Nguyen and Lillian Trinh
Kat is from St. Hyacinth and Lillian is from Our Lady of Lourdes Parishes. Kat enjoys calligraphy, reading, and going to Target. Her favorite shows include Outlander and Bridgerton. Lillian is a foodie adventurer who loves long walks and traveling. She loves anything Disney, Chicago PD, Anime, and Kdrama. Kat and Lillian have known each other for 6 years and met in chemistry class at UST. Warning: This group may contain bad jokes, corny puns, and the POWER OF JESUS that may be unsuitable for some audiences.

Wednesdays at 7:00 pm (Online): Deacon Bob Hebert and Mark San Miguel
Deacon Bob: My name is Deacon Robert Hebert, which is typically used together when I am about to get in trouble for something 😊. Most people know me as Deacon Bob. It is an honor and a privilege to be walking with y’all on our journey together in Faith, Hope and Charity as disciples of Jesus. I was ordained as a Deacon in January of 2015 with a Masters in Pastoral Studies. I have been with the Archdiocesan Office of Young Adult / Campus Ministry for 8+ years now. Thank God for y’all; as you keep me young at heart and help me to be all God created me to be. I also give thanks to God for two great gifts; my wife, Valerie and our son, Bobby!! Miss Valerie and I will be married 36 years this October and as I often share, she is on her way to sainthood. Bobby is 32 and still searching for what God’s Plan is for him. We are all from Ohio originally but feel that Texas has adopted us as we will have lived here in Clear Lake 24 years this December. Miss Valerie and I love to travel, especially on pilgrimages.
Mark San Miguel: I come from a large Catholic family and moved to Spring TX in 2005. My wife and I have one son and one daughter and we now have two grandsons age 4 and 2. I am discerning for the Deaconate and my family and I have been parishioners at St Edward Catholic Community since moving to Texas.

Wednesdays at 7:00 pm (Online): David Persich and Max Silva
David and Max are both in the Diaconate Formation program for the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston. God willing David will be ordained February 2023 and Max will be ordained in 2025. David attends St. Maximillian Kolbe in Houston. He enjoys watching college football and watching reruns of Big Bang Theory and Seinfeld. Max attends Mary Queen in Friendswood. He enjoys spending time with his family as well as driving cars and collecting watches. Max loves the Universal nature of the Church as well as the grace received from the sacraments. David loves the personal relationship which has become stronger during his formation especially in the Blessed Sacrament of the Most Holy Eucharist. No more awesome gift of Love has ever or will ever be given to man. This is his 3rd year participating in the Young Adult Ministry, and he is in awe of the great faith and enthusiasm which is present. It gives him great hope in the future of the Church.

Wednesdays at 7:00 pm (Online): Deacon Mike Jones and Steve Stich
I'm Deacon Mike. I've been ordained for a year-and-a-half and I am very active at Christ the Redeemer. I have a lovely wife named Mary, five children that are all young adults. My wife and I love to travel, seeing as much family and friends that we can over the summer. I am Steve Stich from St. Mary of the Expectation in League City, Texas. God-willing, I am on a journey to be ordained as a Deacon as part of the Class of 2025. I am new to this young adult ministry and look forwarding to walking with you on your faith journey. I work at the NASA Johnson Space Center and would probably be considered a bit of a space geek/rocket scientist. I enjoy serving at St. Mary, exercise, hanging out with family and friends, and playing golf.

Wednesdays at 7:30 pm (Online): Elizabeth Campo
Hi! I am Elizabeth Campo from St. Helen Catholic Church in Pearland. One of my favorite things to do to relax is to sit on the couch and watch Food Network. I enjoy playing Wordle (I have yet to figure it out sooner than 4 guesses!). And my thing is corny jokes; the cornier, the better. I love Cafe Catholica because of the community it brings together and the genuine joy you feel when attending. I hope to bring that joy to our small group! Join me on Wednesday evenings for some fellowship, a good discussion, and maybe a corny joke or two! 

Wednesdays at 7:30 pm (Starbucks in Rice Village): Emma Straten and Colleen Anater
Emma is a native of Texas and Colleen is originally from the northeast. They met 3.5 years ago at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church and have been close friends since. They both love St. Therese of Lisieux, visiting national parks, scripture, finding good restaurants around town, their pets, and the universal call to holiness. They would love to get to know you and grow in holiness with you!

Thursday

Thursdays at 7:30 pm (Online): Daniel Ayala and Jasmin Dipasupil
Hello! We are Daniel and Jasmin. We met at the Catholic Center at UT Austin in 2010 where Daniel went to the wrong room at the UCC, ended up meeting Jasmin, and we have been friends since. Daniel is a parishioner at Regina Caeli, and Jasmin is a parishioner at Holy Rosary and frequents St. Vincent de Paul as well. Daniel works in the financial services industry, enjoys off-roading, and has special devotion to Our Lady of Sorrows. Jasmin works as a physical therapist in the hospital where she was born. Jasmin enjoys dojo-ing, crocheting, and hiking. Jasmin has special devotion to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. We look forward to meeting you!

Thursdays at 7:00 pm (Black Walnut Cafe on Memorial): Reid Linden and Kelli McBee
Happy Café Catholica time! We are Reid and Kelli, two young professionals on fire for our faith, who are excited to share a summer of spiritual growth with our Café Connect group! A parishioner at St. Michael the Archangel church, Kelli went to Boston College and fell in love with the Jesuit way of teaching before moving down to Texas. She’s an avid country western dancer and enjoys philosophical conversations. Reid, an Iowa native, enjoys experiencing different parishes and takes his love of Christ to the next level while teaching at Strake Jesuit in Houston. He frequently travels around the country to visit friends and family and otherwise can be found falling into the latest YouTube rabbit hold he so desperately tries to avoid. If you’re looking to build strong faith-based friendships while deepening your relationship with God through thought-provoking discussions – ours is the group for you! Whether you’re just starting to explore your faith or are well on your way to sainthood, we are excited to meet YOU on Thursday nights at 7pm at Black Walnut Café on Memorial Drive.

Thursdays at 7:00 pm (St. Benedict the Abbot Church): Crystal German and Daniel Villarreal
My name is Crystal German along with my fellow young adult ministry assistant Daniel Villarreal, both attend St. Benedict’s the Abbott church. We met through a confirmation class when I was recruiting young adults for our Lifeteen Ministry. Since then, we were core members in lifeteen, which helped us grow in our faith, and now enjoy being the Ministry leaders for Young Adults in our parish! We both love serving in our community and volunteer in our parish wherever and whenever we can. Some of our hobbies are having game nights with friends and family or going to the movies.

SPANISH: Thursdays at 7:00 pm (Morkovsky Hall, 2403 Holcombe Blvd., Houston): Thalia Romero
Mi nombre es Thalía Romero y sirvo como la directora asociada de la Oficina de Jóvenes Adultos y Pastoral Universitaria. Nací en Houston y soy hija de madre nicaragüense y padre guatemalteco. Soy feligrés de la Parroquia Holy Family en Missouri City, Texas. Cuento con una maestría en Teología Pastoral de la Universidad de Santo Tomás. Disfruto mucho viajar, conocer la gastronomía de otras culturas, pasar tiempo con mi familia y mi Chihuahua, Boba. Estoy muy contenta de poder liderar este grupo de Café Connect donde podremos hablar un poco más sobre los temas que se impartieron en Café Catholica y a la vez conocerlos un poco más. Me hace muy feliz poder servir a los jóvenes adultos de la Arquidiócesis de Galveston-Houston. Los espero los jueves en el Edificio Morkovsky del Centro St. Dominic a las 7 pm.  

Saturday

Saturdays at 11:00 am (Apartment near Old Spanish Trail & Almeda Rd.): Jithesh Augustine and Amanda Quiroz
Amanda and Jithesh go to St. Vincent De Paul and Holy Rosary Catholic churches. They've known each other since 2020 and met at an online prayer group called the Divine Mercy Chaplet group. They're now dating and discerning marriage. Amanda's hobbies are spending time with her nieces, swing dancing and enjoying different cuisines. She loves the Catholic faith and lives it out fully. Jithesh’s hobbies include eating at different restaurants, exploring new cities, and reading spiritual books. And he loves his job: cancer research. Jithesh also loves the Catholic faith and loves to evangelize young adults on the faith. He has been leading bible studies at Holy Rosary parish for over a year now and had great discussions about the faith. Two Fun facts: Amanda has never seen a Harry Potter movie, and people find it hard to figure out Jithesh’s ethnic background.

Saturdays at 11:00 am (Agora in Midtown): Khanh Nguyen
My name is Khanh Nguyen. I was born in Vietnam, came to US when I was eleven. I dabble in a few hobbies, ranging from music to art to the sciences. I have a deep appreciation for books. However, I’m most grateful for the Lord, our God. Having said that, St.Faustina is my home parish. In my after work hours, I volunteer for the archdiocese, helping out with young adults events around town and being a part of Young Catholic Professionals (YCP) here in Houston. I look forward to journey with you and grow with our God in the next few weeks! 

Facilitator Sign-up Information

Are you interested in helping make the Café Connect groups possible to more young adults? Are you a leader of a young adult ministry and want to host a group at your parish? Then, please join us as a Café Connect Facilitator!

Café Connect Facilitators are young adults who volunteer to help lead the discussions for the Café Connect groups. In order to become a facilitator you must:

  • Commit to attending 1 training session offered online in June (June 9 or 13-recording available).
  • Commit to leading 4 Café Connect sessions in July/August.
    • Discussion Guides will be provided in advance.
    • Each Café Connect group will include 3-10 young adult participants.
    • Facilitators can choose their date/time/location.
    • The day of the week/time should stay consistent for all 4 weeks.
  • Plan to recruit young adults to attend their Connect group.

Click here to sign up as a Café Connect Facilitator for 2022!

We ask all facilitators to work in pairs. If you know someone who could be your co-facilitator, please let us know. If you don’t have anyone in mind, we can help pair you with another facilitator.

Please sign up as a facilitator before July 1 if interested.

For more information contact the Office for Young Adult and Campus Ministry at www.archgh.org/cafecatholica or yacm@archgh.org or 713-741-8778.

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