Thursday, June 5, 2008

How to Start a Frassati Society -- Part One

Some general guidelines for starting a Frassati Society can be found on the FrassatiUSA website. But the blog is a better place for a forum of ideas and I hope some of you will be willing to share your experiences -- what works and what doesn't, etc. I'll start off with the first Frassati Society that I was involved with back in 1996. It came about at the inspiration of our associate pastor who wanted a group for young adults but something more than just another singles group. After much consideration, he one day was inspired to use Pier Giorgio for our model and call the group, "The Frassati Society." We never put an age limit on the group but aimed at the 20s and 30s crowd, single or married. We came up with a format that worked pretty well down in the Bible Belt. We met every Wednesday evening and had a four-week cycle. One week would focus on service, one on social, one on spiritual and one on catechetical. This opened up a lot of possibilities for activities. For example, we studied a section of the catechism under the guidance of our priest on the weeks devoted to catechetical. Our favorite service project was probably cooking dinner at the Dismas House, a place for people transitioning from prison to freedom. Social included things from hiking to parties to sporting activities to dinner out. Spiritual allowed us to learn more about the sacraments and devotions and grow in our faith. This is just a little of what we did. There were never dues or financial obligations or commitments to make. It was pretty much, "come when you can and pray for us when you can't." I can honestly say that I made some of the best friends I have ever had in that group.

What does your group do?

26 comments:

Catherine-Lucia said...

What about something for high schoolers? I'm going to be involved with campus ministry etc in the fall but at my school that's kind of a minor thing, not much involved, so I was thinking about starting a youth group of sorts with Bl. Pier Giorgio as our patron. I'm just not sure how to do it. :)

Caroline said...

Yes, I've wanted to start a Frassati Society for a long time now... but I'm not sure how to get started and even who will run it. (At 14 as of yesterday I think I may be a bit young) There's still a lot I need to figure out, but I've got plenty of ideas. If it's the Lord's will it will happen; I just need to keep praying on it!

Catherine-Lucia said...

I'm 14 as of Monday haha! I don't know how either...

...help anyone?!

Chris said...

How great that you are both 14 and both interested in starting a group with Pier Giorgio as patron! You can be a source of ideas and support for one another.

I think a good first step would be to think about whether your group would be official -- either at school or at church -- and, therefore, whether there are guidelines you have to follow. For example, you may need to have an adult sponsor. Then, try to find just a few people who are interested in having a group. You don't have to try to do too much. If you like hiking, you can make it a hiking club. If you have eucharistic adoration at your parish, you can make it a group that does that. In other words, find some aspect of Pier Giorgio's spirituality that you would like to focus on: charity, sacraments, outdoor activities, etc. And then just get started!

Caroline said...

Really? Wow! You're 14 as of today, June 9th, or last Monday?

Hahaha, actually, my ideas for a Frassati Society invlove all of that- hiking, eucharistic adoration, helping the poor (helping out at soup kitchens and the like) and being otherwise involved in the community. Especially in the pro-life ministry, because I'm sure Pier Giorgio would be very involved in that if here were here today. I was thinking we could read religious books, especially ones on Pier Giorgio, and have movie nights where we watche the lives of the saints or just a good quality movie.

Caroline said...

By the way Chris, what do you know about the Frassati Society ofr Young Adult Catholics? They have their own website, http://www.frassati.org and their own ebay store with a handbook on how to start your own chapter of the Frassati society. There was also an article on them in Envoy magazine, a Catholic apologetics magazine. Is this Frassati Society connected to FrassatiUSA?

Catherine-Lucia said...

14 as of today. Actually I was hoping to have the 'society' (not sure if I'd use that word, though!) be more like a mix of football (soccer), church, and charity. :) Do you think it would be helpful to have it be 'official,' as in part of my parish?

where are you from, Caroline, by the way? in case by some miracle we happen to be from the same city...I'm from near Washington DC by the way, going to BIHS this fall--if you're from here you'll know what that is :)

Catherine-Lucia said...

june 9, that is.

Chris said...

Hey Caroline,
If you look at the list of links to Frassati Societies on the homepage of the blog, you will find the Frassati Society of LaFayette. That is the group you are asking about. It is an independent Frassati Society -- one of many in the U.S. Their website may give you some ideas for things to do. The members are older than you but it is a great group that has been around awhile.

Caroline said...

Oh, well, happy belated birthday!!! Hahaha.

Oh darn, I was hoping we lived close by as well. I live in Murrieta, Southern California.

Oh, ok, so there are many different Frassati Societies around. But FrassatiUSA is the official one endorsed by Pier Giorgio's family, right?

Catherine-Lucia said...

thanks :) and I do think FrassatiUSA is the official one, it says 'official USA website' on the front home page...

Chris said...

About being official...FrassatiUSA is not a Frassati Society. It's an organization that works with the Frassati family to promote the spirituality and canonization of Pier Giorgio. We aren't a club with members like a Frassati Society but we try to make resources available for the clubs and anyone else with an interest in Pier Giorgio. Hope that makes sense!

Catherine-Lucia said...

ah, that makes sense. Chris, while we have you :) , do you think it would help to have an adult sponsor or to have it be 'officially' part of a church/school?

Chris said...

I think there are advantages to having a church or school-related group with an adult sponsor. For example, it might be easier to advertise the group and have a regular place to meet. Maybe there is somebody dedicated to youth ministry who could give you ideas and support.

Catherine-Lucia said...

thanks. I asked around at my parish and it turns out there aren't any existing youth groups--looks like this will be the first one (if it happens)! :)

Caroline said...

Wow- you're lucky. My parish has lots of youth groups, so its possible if I ask about starting a new one they won't want it. But if that's the case, I can do it on my own.

Catherine-Lucia said...

unfortunately, I don't think my parish will be open to the idea. However, the apostolate of persuasion, eh?

Caroline said...

Hahahaha, yeah. Well, sounds like we're in the same boat then, because I don't think my parish will welcome the idea particularly well, either. However, I did send I biography I wrote on Pier Giorgio to my pastor, who wrote back saying that he had in turn sent it to the leader of all the youth groups at my parish, Mr. Mueller. So maybe that warmed them up to the idea. At any rate, my mom talked to Mr. Mueller afterwards and apparently he has the holy card I sent him on his desk!

Catherine-Lucia said...

This is my official summer project. I am SO reviving teen ministry at my parish. It's long gone but man I'm going to give it one heck of a wake up call!! I have such ridiculous determination right now that it IS funny.

Caroline said...

Hahahaha! Well thats a great summer project!!! I have a lot of projects going on right now but starting a Frassati Society id definitely a high-priority one.

Catherine-Lucia said...

I sent a letter to my pastor today. Wish me luck :)

Caroline said...

Good luck hahaha! I'll pray for you! So are you trying to start an actual Frassati Society or jest revive what your parish had going previously at this point?

Catherine-Lucia said...

Sort of both. I am trying to start a teen youth group with an active ministry like it used to have, but also with the social/sports aspect so that it's FUN :) and all under the patronage of Pier Giorgio. Recap: spirituality, ministry, society, community, and recreation. :)

Caroline said...

Nice. That'll be awesome!!!

Caroline said...

Guess what? We're officially going to start a Frassati Society! I'm going to be putting out invitations to everybody soon- I can't wait! I have so much planned for this group... it may even be too much!

Catherine-Lucia said...

that is AWESOME Caroline!! my prayers with you & your new society always :D

my pastor just went on a retreat so he won't be able to respond until later--but when I get any news I'll post it here :) I am thinking positive thoughts...but now I can enjoy the fact that even if it doesn't work out, I know there's at least one more Frassati Society out there in the world!!!

viva tipi loschi!! yeaaahh!! (is viva used in Italian? sorry I'm only familiar with Spanish lol)