A new young adult group initiative launched in late June with a day of kayaking, fellowship, food and the participation in the Mass.
The Frassati Society is a group for young adults (ages 18-39) in the Diocese of Venice that focuses on growing in community and holiness inspired by the spirituality and active lifestyle of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati. The first gathering was June 29 at Robinson Preserve in Bradenton where like-minded young adults rented kayaks to spend time together while taking the time to discuss their faith.
Modeled after the spirituality of Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, who had a great devotion to serve the poor and the work of evangelization. Born in Italy in 1901, Blessed Pier Giorgio would often organize hiking trips, attend the theatre, museums, and the opera. Through these cultural and active engagements, he would be the example of faith and witness to his friends through the praying of the rosary, reading the Scriptures, and bringing them to Mass.
Following his example, the Frassati Society, which will meet in the northern and southern parts of the Diocese of Venice, engages young adults through activities they desire to do, such as hiking, kayaking, arts and music, as well as partaking in spiritual enrichment through prayer, discussion, and attending the Mass, explained Joshua Mazrin, Diocese of Venice Director of Evangelization.
“In today’s culture of fleeting relationships and superficiality, young adults are craving authenticity and genuine friendships to combat the growing loneliness,” Mazrin added. “Through the Frassati Society, they are able to come together with like-minded people, to be present to one another as friends and family, and to grow together in the faith.”
The principle goals of the Frassati Society are to bring healing into the culture by providing a real community of people and to enculturate the Gospel of Jesus Christ, he concluded.
At the first gathering, the group kayaked for a time and gathered for the Mass, which was celebrated outdoors by Father Shawn Roser, Diocese Vocations Director and Parochial Vicar at St. Joseph Parish in Bradenton. While the initial group was small, the reception was overwhelmingly positive as the act of combining outdoor activity with a strong spiritual component appealed to those who participated.
The next Frassati Society gathering will take place July 20, 10 a.m. at the Celery Fields County Park, 6893 Palmer Blvd., Sarasota. There will be hiking, food and prayer. There is no cost to participate. A gathering in the southern part of the Diocese is currently in the planning stages.
There are several other outreach efforts within the Diocese which target Catholic young adults, including Theology on Tap in Sarasota and Naples, and other parish-based groups in Lee County.
The last Theology on Tap of the season in Sarasota took place June 20 at the Mandeville Beer Garden in Sarasota with Zander Waves giving a concert and offering his personal testimony before the largest crowd of the year. The gatherings will resume in September.
In Naples, Theology on Tap gathers each Thursday of the month at different parishes and sites in the area and has been doing so for at least four years. Host parishes include St. John the Evangelist, St. Agnes, St. Peter the Apostle, and St. William.
In Lee County, there are two active young adult outreach programs. At St. Raphael Parish in Lehigh Acres the LOFT young adult group meets at 6p.m. on the last Thursday of each month. Meanwhile, at St. John XXIII Parish in Fort Myers, the “Rooted” gatherings take place on the first Thursdays on each month at 7:15 p.m.
Each of these programs exists in order to reach out to young adults, foster moments of conversion, and lead them home to Christ and His Church.
For more details about the Frassati Society, Theology on Tap or any other young adult outreach efforts within the Diocese of Venice, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or contact Joshua Mazrin at email@example.com.