Frassati Fest 2016: The RECAP

Beyond watching the recap video to witness the real joy, enthusiasm, and prayerful spirit of our high school youth at Frassati Fest, the best way we can help you understand how beautiful this weekend was is by letting the teens speak for themselves.

Frassati Fest 2016 helped me know that no matter what, God has a plan for me.

After Frassati Fest, I will have a brighter outlook of my future. I have to trust in the Lord that I will continue to grow.

I definitely have a different, more positive outlook on Catholicism!

During adoration, a huge amount of joy came over me. I knew Jesus was there.

To form better picture of what the weekend looked like, we wanted to share some important statistics with y’all!

Pie Chart BW

WEEKEND HIGHLIGHTS, as described by the teens!
The graphic above shows how much of a highlight the below items were. 

  1. Adoration and Confession
  2. Inspiring Speakers, like Matt Faley
  3. Meeting New Friends and Reconnecting with Old Friends
  4. The Saturday Night Party
  5. Praise and Worship with 20/20
  6. Growing in Faith
  7. The Saturday Night Dinner
  8. Water Park Time
  9. Parish Time

Ladies Men Split

At Frassati Fest, high school ladies and their female chaperones made up 64% of attendees. The gentlemen in attendance made up the remaining 36%.

Teens and their chaperones represented over 28 parishes in the Diocese of Madison! 17 of those parishes attended as a group; the remaining teens joined other parishes or attended as Lost Sheep.

Planning Team Classy

This year’s event was planned by a group of 30 incredible high school students, alongside of 6 youth ministers and staff members from the Diocese of Madison. They committed to monthly formation meetings, a weekend retreat, and plenty of work time outside of meetings leading up to the big event!


During Frassati Fest 2016, two Freshly Brewed podcasts were recorded. (Freshly Brewed is the podcast for Madison Catholic Youth and beyond! We release new, FREE episodes on Thursday mornings during the school year!) One of them was recorded in front of a live studio audience on Saturday morning, in the style of the ESPN show Around the Horn. Check out the blog post about EPISODE 63: Around the Horn. The other podcast recorded during Frassati Fest was with Matt Faley, our incredible keynote speaker. This episode just released, and you don’t want to miss it. In EPISODE 64: A Thirst, Matt talks with Sara, the Love Begins Here intern, about his journey with Christ, discernment, dating and prayer. Enjoy getting a taste of the inspiration Matt shared with those attending Frassati Fest by listening!

If you’re still hanging in there and want to learn more, we would suggest checking out the following three links!

We hope to see y’all at next year’s Frassati Fest! Share this post with families who have high school teens who may be interested in joining in on the fun in 2017.

Freshly Brewed, Episode 19: Chevy Trucks, Kitchen Confidence, and Women

This past weekend Lindsay, Chris, and Sara had the beautiful opportunity to record an episode of Freshly Brewed live in front of the 300+ teens attending Frassati Fest in the Dells! The emcees of the event, Scott and Tessa, fielded questions from the audience while the podcast hosts took turns answering! Listen here to get a glimpse into what the teens experienced this weekend and/or to reminisce about Topher’s golden dating advice or Lindsay’s insight into how Pope Francis is inspiring us to live out our faith!


Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, pray for us!

#FRASSATI2015 – The Recap!

JPII Quote Friday Night

Thanks for checking in to see how inspiring and transformative this past weekend was at #FRASSATI2015. To get started, take a look at these teen quotes from our evaluations at the end of the weekend:

  • One unexpected joy that I felt this weekend was when I prayed for the first time. I had never been introduced to faith in my life before but when I really focused and tried to communicate with God it was a great feeling that I wasn’t expecting.
  • The keynotes were definitely an unexpected joy this weekend. Repeatedly I found myself so engulfed in the words of love and guidance. I felt as if I was the only one in the room. And because it happened more than once, I knew it was so real.
  • The highlight of my weekend was praying together. I truly feel like we’re UNITED.
  • The speakers this weekend were awesome. They were/are so pumped up to be a part of the Catholic family and it’s contagious!

In case it’s not clear, we think that some of the most incredible teens in the nation just spent the weekend together. One big reason this weekend is such a huge success is because it is planned by teens, for teens. If you would like to learn about getting your teen (or yourself) involved in planning #FRASSATI2016, e-mail We’d like to say THANK YOU to our 2015 Frassati Planning Team. These young folks are quite the inspiring bunch!

Planning Team

Molly, Camp Gray’s videographer, produced a rocking summary video of our weekend. We’d love for you to check it out RIGHT HERE!

The teens throughout the weekend were busy sharing their experiences on social media and interacting with the keynote speakers during general sessions. Check out some of their Instagrams below and what was happening over on twitter.

Insta 16

The speaking team — consisting of our Diocesan priests, Love Begins Here staff, Camp Gray staff, and Steubenville Conference speakers were the BEES KNEES. Check them out in action below!

Speaking Team

Stay up to date with the latest and greatest youth offerings from Madison Catholic Youth by liking our Facebook page, following our Twitter, viewing their sweet Instagrams, and listening to the Freshly Brewed Podcast! We are in the business of helping our Catholic teens keep and love their Catholic faith for many years to come — help us spread the word about this great mission.

Lastly, we wanted to share the following TOP FOUR selling points for what folks could look forward to learning at #FRASSATI2016. (One of our teen attendees at #FRASSATI2015 penned these for us – pretty incredible, right?!)

  1. Following Jesus is hard, but with Him you can do it.
  2. Once you overcome your fear of living, life is amazing.
  3. Get back up when you fall! Jesus will always forgive you.
  4. Jesus is your friend. Talk to Him like one.

With that, we cannot wait to anticipate the grace and joy we’ll find together next year at this great event. Save the date: February 7, 2016!

Frassati Fest Recap!

Thanks for tuning in to see what this past weekend held for the teens of the Madison Diocese who joined as at Frassati Fest!

First up, the following were the TOP 3 highlights of the weekend, as found on the student evaluations.

1. Confession and Adoration
2. The Dance Party
3. Meeting New Friends and Spending Time with Old Friends

Those definitely speak to how transformative and down right fun the weekend was. Also, during the weekend, social media was all the rage! The following is a small sampling of the Instagram photos that were tagged with #frassatifest. See more here.


Our incredible tech team kept these photos rolling on the screens all weekend, as well as the Tweets about the weekend, which you can see here.

This great weekend would not have been possible without a couple folks, so we wanted to introduce them to you! The first is Pete Burds who took the stage as our keynote speaker. He’s a rock star young adult from the Milwaukee area. By day, he works as the campus minister at St. Thomas More High School; on the nights and weekends, he spends time evangelizing all over the Archdiocese of Milwaukee, loving the Lord and hanging out with his new fiancé Emily (who we were lucky to meet during the weekend). The teens gave him rave reviews on their evaluations after dropping inspiration bombs all weekend long.

Pete Burds Photo - Frassati Fest


The second big group of folks that deserve a shout out would be the members of our Planning Team. They worked hard over the past 7 months to put on an event that would not soon be forgotten, hopefully because it helped to shape and transform many hearts. These teens and adults came from all over the Diocese, and at the big event, they emcee’d, gave testimonies, made friends and welcomed everyone to the event with more JOY than we could have asked for.

Planning Team

To help you take a look at the events of the weekend, below we’ve included the video we showed the teens before the headed home! Enjoy watching.

We are excited to see you all again next year! In the meantime, keep in touch through this blog, as well as our social media outlets (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram)!

Superbowl Monday

After a long blogging break and a thrilling weekend at Frassati Fest (see more here, here and here), we are back with some inspiration to get you going this Monday afternoon.

First up, while the Seahawks were dominant on the field last night, it’s great to know that many of the players are inspiring folks beyond the football field. The following video was made by a couple players (two of which are former Badgers!) and their ecclesial community out in Seattle. They are certainly using their football fame to witness to their faith in a big way, and it is great to see. Though these players are not Catholic, both the Church’s faithful and other Christian athletes can all learn a lot from their example! (See more like this at the Making of a Champion website.)

In more post-Superbowl related news, it was refreshing to see much less in the way of immodesty during this year’s commercials. In 2013, it seemed like every other commercial relied heavily on sexuality in order to sell the product. Not only did we see less in the way of vices during commercials, but ad creators even tapped into the virtues to sell their products. The following two commercials both placed patriotism (which is a facet of the virtue of justice; learn more here) at the forefront.

And, for good measure, go ahead and remember how cute this dog-horse bond was.

(Of course, Madison Catholic Youth wants to remind everyone that the legal drinking age is 21, and once you’ve reached that age, there are plenty of ways to have fun without alchohol in the picture! If adults do choose to drink, we hope and pray that they do so both responsibly and in moderation.)

Stay tuned for more this week, including some sweet recaps of the weekend away at Frassati Fest and how to stay engaged in the faith in the months to come!

Frassati Fest – Register today!

Pete Quote - Blog

Ask an average high school student about the level of stress they face in their lives, and he or she would have a lot to say. Teens may be stressed about finals approaching or drama with friends, and problems within the family or how much pressure there is to live up to the expectations of coaches, teachers and the world.

That is likely not what St. Catherine had in mind when she penned those famous words about setting the world ablaze. Young people in their teenage years are supposed to be joyful, optimistic, full of plans for the future and, whether or not they appreciate hearing it, still kids.

Blog Talking

With Frassati Fest fast approaching, the youth of our Diocese are going to have an opportunity to embrace everything their young lives have to offer – meeting hundreds of new friends, having a blast at a water park and being inspired to live out the dreams that the Lord has put in their hearts. At Frassati Fest, they will have a chance to revive the fire and set the world ablaze.

Frassati Fest includes three keynotes by Pete Burds (an incredible speaker, musician and campus minister from the Milwaukee area), music, laughter, lots of good food, plenty of time in the waterpark, Adoration, Confession, the Holy Mass and a chance to get away from your day to day life.

This weekend with life changing potential will take place January 31 – February 2 at the Kalahari Resort in the Wisconsin Dells. To register or learn more about it, please visit Teens can register with their Parish or as individuals to be chaperoned by the Camp Gray staff!

Blog Laughing

In case you’re curious, the following are the Parishes who have teens registered!
Baraboo, St. Joseph
Beloit, Our Lady of Assumption
Cross Plains, St. Francis Xavier
Fort Atkinson, St. Joseph
Green Lake, St. Mary of the Lake
Jefferson, St. John the Baptist
Lodi and Dane, Blessed Trinity
McFarland, Christ the King
Middleton, St. Bernard
Oregon, Holy Mother of Consolation
Stoughton, St. Ann
Sun Prairie, Sacred Hearts
Sun Prairie, St. Albert
Waunakee, St. John the Baptist

Theme, Dates and a Location, Oh My!

Header 1

This past weekend, we had an incredible meeting with the Frassati Fest Planning Team! A total of 23 rock star youth and 5 youth ministers joined together to vision and plan for this year’s event. We had deep discussions and shared many laughs as we settled on a theme for the 2014 Frassati Fest. We would like to share with you what we have selected.

REKINDLE: Reviving the Fire
“For he is like the refiner’s fire.” – The Prophet Malachi

We were all very moved by the concept of fire, how the Lord acts in our lives as the refiner’s fire continually making us into who we are meant to be, and how we are given the ability to share this spark with the world to set our peers, communities and world on fire for God! Tessa also shared the following quote, which is going to help set the stage for the event.

“If you are what you should be, you will set the world on fire”
– St. Catherine of Siena

Get excited for this year’s Frassati Fest, and help us to spread the word!

January 31 – February 2
at our BRAND NEW location
The Kalahari Resort!

@pontifex, #frassatifest + social media, oh my!

Vatican Pope Tweets@pontifex

Our Holy Father is so hip. As of today, he is tweeting. Talk about inspiration in 140 characters. Check out the following questions he answered today:

How can we celebrate the Year of Faith better in our daily lives?
By speaking with Jesus in prayer, listening to what he tells you in the Gospel and looking for him in those in need.

How can faith in Jesus be lived in a world without hope?
We can be certain that a believer is never alone. God is the solid rock upon which we build our lives and his love is always faithful.

Any suggestions on how to be more prayerful when we are so busy with the demands of work, families and the world?
Offer everything you do to the Lord, ask his help in all the circumstances of daily life and remember that he is always beside you.

What a day to be out on Twitter. In honor of this great occasion, head on out to your Twitter account and give the Pope some love! Follow him, RT his tweets and like his posts. While you’re at it, visit @madisoncatholic, follow us, use the official #frassatifest hashtag, and spread around the following photo!

Frassati Fest – DAY 2 of Awesomeness!


Welcome friends! We are super jazzed to bring to you today a guest blog entry from Danielle Amundson (left — you know Erin on the right from yesterday), who is a Junior from Waunakee, WI. The following is a preview of her article appearing in the Catholic Herald this week.

I will never forget my first Resurrection Rally. As a freshman, I was nervous, especially since I didn’t know the girls from my parish well. But on the ride to the Chula Vista, the Oreos and smiles appeared, and neither left throughout the weekend. The weekend was a beautiful blur of meeting new people, riding water slides, singing, learning, and praising God.

My favorite memory from the weekend was Saturday night.  We all got dressed nicely for Mass, but first there was adoration and Confession. I watched the line for Confession grow and snake along the back of the room. It was breathtaking to see so many teens want to mend their relationship with Jesus.

A few leaders held Lectio Divina in a nearby room. My best friend from another parish and I decided to go. I had heard the scriptures from that weekend countless times before, but this opened my eyes so much more. Different phrases stood out to each person, and as everyone explained how they interpreted the Gospel, I learned so much.

At the end, I remember my friend and I walking towards each other, and we both were so moved by the Holy Spirit that we began to cry and hug each other. As freshmen. In a room filled with people we didn’t know. Neither of us felt embarrassed. Neither of us said a word, but we both experienced the same joy and love in that moment.

Although you may not find yourself crying at Frassati Fest this year, I recommend the experience to any high school student. It will be a weekend filled with faith, fun, and friends, and it won’t disappoint.

Thanks for sharing your GREAT story Danielle! In the midst of this busy season preparing for Christmas, we hope you remember some good advice from our patron —

Keep Calm