Monday, July 18, 2011

Back to school with Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati!

Just two days after we celebrated the feast of Blessed Pier Giorgio, an exciting announcement was made by Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, archbishop of Galveston-Houston:  Frassati Catholic High School is the official name of the new school planned for that diocese.  This will be the first high school in the United States to bear Pier Giorgio's name.  With plans to open in 2013, the fundraising effort is underway.  More information is available at

Less than two years ago, we celebrated the YouTube announcement by Cardinal Francis George, archbishop of Chicago, naming the newest middle school in the diocese Frassati Catholic Academy.  The school opened in August 2010 with a spiritual charter inspired by the life and witness of Blessed Pier Giorgio.

Pier Giorgio is definitely no stranger at the college level.  At Vanderbilt University, Catholic students pray and fellowship together at the Frassati House.  At Wyoming Catholic College, they enjoy meals in Frassati Hall.  At the Franciscan University of Steubenville, a movement called Frassati Franciscan is connecting students and alumni.  An outreach called Frassati has been launced to unite grad students, alumni and young professionals from the University of Arkansas.  Students hike the trails of Maine with the Saint Joseph's College Frassati Society.  The list really does go on and on.

The mission of FrassatiUSA is to further the apostolate of Blessed Pier Giorgio and, in doing so, promote his cause for canonization.  Although we can take no credit for the wonderful initiatives happening almost weekly now around the country by people who are inspired by Pier Giorgio, it is a cause of great joy to see so much activity taking place, especially in the academic environment.  As students of all ages prepare to head back to school next month, may Blessed Pier Giorgio accompany them in every aspect of their lives. Verso l'alto!

"...[w]e Catholics and especially we students have a serious responsibility to fulfill:  our own formation.
   We, who by the grace of God are Catholics, should not waste the most wonderful years of our life, as unfortunately  do so many unhappy young people, who are preoccupied with enjoying the good life, which does not result in good, but which brings the fruit of immorality into our modern society.  We should steel ourselves to be ready to carry on the battles we shall certainly have to fight in order to fulfill our program and thus to give to our country, in a not-too-distant future, happier days and a morally healthy society.  But for all this is needed:  continual prayer to obtain from God that grace without which our efforts are in vain; organization and discipline so that we can be ready for action at the opportune moment and finally, sacrifice of our passions and of ourselves, because without this it is impossible to reach the goal." -- excerpt from a letter by PGF to members of an association of Catholic youth, October 1922