Freshly Brewed: Episode 6 – Bless Us for the Journey

Bless Us for the Journey

Howdy friends! As Camp Gray continues to have huge impacts on individuals’ pursuits of holiness we decided to hear from the perspective of a long time camper, Erin Moran! Listen here as Chis talks with Erin about the many different programs Camp offers and how each different experience has played a role in how Erin continues to strive for sainthood!

Erin 4


Camp Gray Summer 2015 Schedule

Camp Gray Instagram

St. Francis of Assisi 

National Geographic Instagram

Podcast Release Day!

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This day has been anticipated with a fair amount of excitement for weeks. We are proud to share with you today the launch of the Madison Catholic Youth Podcast, Freshly Brewed. Follow THIS LINK to iTunes, so you can listen to it! When you get out to iTunes, click SUBSCRIBE and you’ll be able to listen to it from your music library, by searching “Freshly Brewed”. (It’s going to take another day to search for Freshly Brewed in the iTunes store and be able to see the episode list. Even though you don’t see them listed, the first episode will download as soon as you subscribe.)

Alternatively, you could open your iTunes account, go to File > “Subscribe to a Podcast…” > Paste This Link: (Don’t try to open it in a web browser; it’ll just look like code. You need a Podcast app or program to open the link and listen.)

If you’ve never listened to a podcast, no worries! Click over to the first episode, and we’ll give you some guidance. Speaking of which, whenever you listen to a Freshly Brewed Podcast, you can always come over to this very blog to read the show notes. On that note, feel free to explore any relevant links below.

As you do listen along, we’d love to hear from you. Share on social media with the hashtag #whatspercolating; we’ll be interacting with you often!

Episode 1: Welcome to Freshly Brewed! | SHOWNOTES

Hosts: Topher Aderhold, Lindsay Becher and Sara Zeman

iTunes Podcast App

Camp Gray Salt Team – Get excited for SALT Week!

Religious Freedom – Lifeteen Blog Post

Multiplied – Needtobreathe

Month of the Rosary

ESPN Twitter

Verily Facebook

A Beautiful Mess Instagram

Bl. Mother Teresa

St. Michael

St. John Paul II

Make your own Pumpkin Spice Latte Syrup

Lifeteen Resources + Training!!

Lifeteen Catholic Victor Hugo Inspiration Youth Ministry

Lifeteen is really leading the way in the hip Catholic youth ministry social media world. You can easily share via Facebook or Instagram what they are calling “daily inspiration“. Get on board; the images are full of beauty and truth! They also have a great blog with relevant, also conveniently shareable article relevant to teens, parents and those who work in the Church. You can check out all of them on their website. A few of our favorites from this week include Why Pray?, An Open Letter to My Sisters This Halloween and The Potential Problem with Pink. (We’re thinking that these links can make up for there being no official Wanderer Wednesday post yesterday!)

One thing that really stands out when you spend some time considering Lifeteen’s media outreach is that they understand how to talk with and to teens. Their posts are written with teens in mind, working to challenge the culture and provoke some positive, pure thoughts. Talk about a great movement in the New Evangelization!

If you are intrigued by all of this, are interested in learning about Lifeteen programs and curriculum or you just want to be the best you can be for the teens you work with, we have something wonderful to offer you. A group of awesome youth ministers in the Diocese have arranged for a day of training with a Lifeteen Staff Member! This one day event will cover best practices in youth ministry, including how best to lead a small group and the ins and outs of relational ministry. Come join us on Saturday, November 9th in Oregon!

You can find the poster and more information for this event here: Lifeteen Training Poster.

To register or ask questions, please e-mail Tiffany Topel at

And, for good measure, happy belated feast day to our patron, Blessed Pope John Paul II, via Lifeteen’s Instagram account!

Lifeteen JPII John Paul II Catholic Youth Ministry

@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 – Get online!

(Before we get going, Happy All Saints/All Souls! Today is a fitting time for this blog post.)

It’s time.

A whole slew of Frassati Fest materials are online. Check them out at this link!

On that page, notice a number of things have been posted, like the Info SheetInterest Forms and Waivers.

Recall that we have some BIG goals this year for our numbers. Your help in publicizing will only help increase the awesomeness of this fest!

No matter how many registrations we receive the registration fee will include the following items:
– Saturday Lunch and Dinner
– Keynote Speaker, Great Workshops and the presence of the Camp Gray Staff

If we reach 200 attendees,
– the registration price will include TSHIRTS! (If we do not hit this number, we will sell them for $5 each.)

If we reach 230 attendees,
– we will provide you with continental breakfast in your hotel rooms. (If we do not hit this number, your Parish will be responsible for it.)

If we reach 260+ attendees,
– the Saturday night party will become more epic than ever, including but not limited to an ice cream social, legit traveling photo booth and more!

If we top 300, who knows what’s to come. We can hope, right?

Also, take note that the Resurrection Rally facebook page has officially transitioned to being the Frassati Fest facebook page. One other social media note: the official hashtag of the event is #frassatifest. Tweet away!

And a number of things are yet to be posted, like your promo video and a few more publicity resources. Watch the blog for the release of the promo video on Tuesday, just in time for catechism classes the next few weeks before Thanksgiving.

And, as a little bonus to those of you who stumbled upon this blog post, why not celebrate the release of these materials with a GIVEAWAY? To participate, leave a comment with one reason why you’re super jazzed and excited for Frassati Fest this year. The winner will receive a voucher for $25 in free merchandise at Frassati Fest. (Rest assured, we have incredible plans in store for our merch tables!)

This GIVEAWAY is open to youth + youth ministers, DREs and friends. It will close on Tuesday, November 6th at 11:59PM CST! The GIVEAWAY is now officially closed!

Congratulations to Maggie L. who is the winner of $25 towards FF merch! Can’t wait to see you in February.


While Seminarian Bill has been busy interning for Love Begins Here…

… he has also found a bit of time for blogging. Enjoy this latest read.


If, like me, you are narcissistically obsessed with social media, specifically Twitter, then you are probably familiar with the common phrase/hashtag, #YOLO. Apparently YOLO stands for You Only Live Once. This seems to be a pretty common cliche for most human beings. In the Twitterverse, #YOLO is typically used like this:

“I’m going to party so hard tonight and make a lot bad decisions that I know I shouldn’t make! #YOLO”


“Because I only live once, I should do a ton of things I’m going to regret because I’m not going to have another chance to make such poor choices!”

Let’s break this whole #YOLO thing down in light of our faith. First of all, #YOLO sort of flies in the face of the whole Buddhist, reincarnation thing. For a Buddhist, what you do in life has a direct effect on what you’ll be reincarnated as next. So if I really mess up this life, I’ll probably come back as a monkey, a tree, or a tomato plant.

However, as Catholics we don’t really believe in reincarnation so this whole #YOLO idea might actually work for us, right? Yes! Except not the way you were thinking…

See, we do only live once. God has given us this one single chance here on earth. For some of us it’s long, for others it’s tragically short. We all end up doing vastly different things with our lives. Some of us will be priests and nuns, others will be mothers and fathers. Some of us may be doctors, and other janitors. Some moments in life are filled to the brim with joy, love, and peace. Still, some times of our lives are sewn with hardship, suffering, pain, doubt, grief, and hurt. This inevitably leads to the question; What’s the point of it all? Why did God create me in the first place?

Well, the old Baltimore Catechism asked the same question:

“Q. 6. Why did God make you?
A. God made me to know Him, to love Him, and to serve Him in this world, and to be happy with Him forever in the next.”

This Baltimore Catechism was written ages ago, so let me translate:

“Q. Why did God make you?

See its like is; we were made to know, to love, and to serve God here, right now in this life so that we can live forever with Him in the glorious heavenly kingdom. The key is “in this life”. AKA We really only live once.

Heres the beautiful thing: Jesus, in His perfect wisdom, hasn’t left us out to dry on our own to figure out how to know, love, and serve him. Instead, he gave us his Church, through which we have the graceful guidance of the Holy Spirit, the wonderful teachers that are the Pope, the Bishops, and Priests, and the Sacraments through which we are able to drink from infinite fountain of God’s grace.

With #YOLO in mind, we should not be making poor choices that we know we are going to regret. Word of wisdom: anytime you have to say “no regrets” before you do something, that probably means you’re going to regret it. Instead, we should be doing things are going to help us know, love, and serve God.

In essence, every time we are faced with a choice in life, no matter how big or small, we should think ourselves, “Is what I’m doing bringing me closer to knowing, loving, and, serving God?” We can’t live life on the fence, friends. God has a specific plan for each and every moment of our lives. With every choice we make, we are either coming closer to knowing, loving, and serving God, or not.

So maybe we should start saying things like this:

“Going to Confession and Mass today! #YOLO”
“Serving the poor in Christ’s name! #YOLO”
“Praying the Rosary! #YOLO”

Bill meets the missionaries.

Editor’s Note: Now that we’re nice and familiar with Seminarian Bill, of the Madison Diocese, it’s time to see what happens when he encounters a couple Morman missionaries on the streets of Winona, MN. 

The other night, I was out for a little stroll on the edge of campus. On this beautiful evening, as I was walking, I saw two fine young men approaching on bicycles, dressed in a shirt and tie with a black name-tag hanging from their pocket. MORMON! My internal Mormon radar was firing like no tomorrow.

As they passed slowly they gave me a nice nod, to which I responded, “How’s it going tonight?” To be honest, I was a bit surprised they did not stop right away and ask me if I have ever heard of Jesus Christ and that whole spiel. I simply was not going to allow this opportunity to ride away on a bike, so I said, “Are you guys missionaries or something?” Before I finished the word missionary, the two young men immediately turned around in perfect unison, dismounted their bikes, and then gave the typical “we’re representatives of the Church of blah blah, would you like to know more about Jesus Christ?”

Boom. “I always want to know more about Jesus Christ,” was my obvious response. This got them excited. They began explaining their message and the beliefs of the Mormon Church. Now, of course I did not lie and tell them I was very ignorant about religion, but I definitely did not initially tell them that I knew quite a bit about the Bible, the Church, and the general history of Christianity.

For those that do not know, the basic premise of the Mormon Church is as follows: A group of ancient Israelites left Israel to avoid persecution and traveled across the ocean to the Americas where they established a settlement in upstate New York and practiced the exact same faith as that of the ancient Hebrews, including writing pieces of Scripture supposedly similar and of equal value as the Old Testament. Then, after Christ came to the earth, suffered, died, rose, and ascended, He purportedly visited this other tribe of Israel in the Americas, bringing them the Gospel. All of this was apparently written down on golden plates. Then, in roughly 400 A.D., the Nephites as they were called, lost a war and were exterminated. But, these mysterious scriptural plates were buried, only to be discovered by Joseph Smith, a common man of the 1800’s. Turns out Joseph Smith is also a prophet and writes a couple books of scriptures, gains some followers, and voila, less than 200 years later, Mormonism is one of the fastest growing religions on Earth.

To be sure, as a Catholic, we consider most of this to be nonsense. Historical records show no evidence of this mysterious tribe of Israel that miraculously made its way to the Americas. Plus, they sort of believe in many gods, so that whole thing’s not going to fly. As some of you can probably imagine, I was sure to insert objections into their explanation of the Mormon faith. After nearly 2 hours, it was clear we had established a nice friendship in which discussion will continue. They really were stand-up gentlemen.

I would love to write an entire explanation of why Mormonism is simply false and misled right here, right now, but that would take pages and pages and pages. But, after meeting these missionaries and chatting with them, I reflected on the many reasons why I am Catholic. What is it about Catholicism that makes me so sure of this faith?

The answer was obvious; The Holy Eucharist. This gift of the Eucharist is the final word that makes Catholicism so different than any other faith. What a ridiculous belief, really! The popular atheist, Richard Dawkins, at a recent “Rally for Reason”, asked in mockery, “Do you really believe that a wafer, when blessed by the priest, becomes the body of Jesus Christ?” My answer: Absolutely, 100%, with all my heart, with the entirety of my being, because life would not make sense without it.

The Holy Eucharist

Jesus, the God and King of the universe, all-powerful, all-knowing, and all-loving, comes to us in this tiny, tasteless, and pitiful combination of water and wheat, and in a simple chalice of wine. It’s nuts! 5 minutes before Mass, the hosts are sitting in a box in plastic wrap. 5 minutes after, their are reposed in a beautiful Tabernacle to be adored and loved by the faithful as the true Body and Blood of Christ. Jesus meant it when he said in John’s Gospel that the Bread of Life He will give is His flesh! He comes to us so small, so weak, so humble, for only that we might be drawn into physical union with him. In the exact same way that He gave up His body for us on the Cross, at each and every Mass, Jesus gives up his body once again for us, that we may be healed of sin and drawn into an intimate and loving relationship with Him and the Trinity.

Would I like to ride around on a bike looking dapper teaching people about Jesus? Sure, they would pretty fun — I guess I could probably do it. But, I would much rather have all my desires satisfied, my thirsts satiated, and my hungers abated in union with our Lord in the Eucharist.