Freshly Brewed, Episode 65: New Mercies Every Morning

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In explaining the significance of Ash Wednesday, Father Mike Schmitz explained, “The ashes mean I am a sinner but the cross means that I have a savior.” Father goes on to say, though we live in a fallen world and our hearts are not always as they should be, we have a God who loves us so much He chose to suffer and die for us so that we may live with Him in Heaven for all of eternity.

In this episode of Freshly Brewed, Topher sits down with Father Chris Gernetzke and the two discuss why we need Reconciliation and what happens internally and externally in confession! This a truly enlightening pod that dives into the heart of justice and mercy and ultimately the love of our Father in Heaven! Follow the link below to hear more!

Listen on ITunes


The Confession FAQ You’ve Always Wanted

Illustrated Guide to Confession

Times for Confession in parishes throughout the Diocese of Madison

Year of Mercy within the Diocese of Madison

Saint Josemaría Escrivá

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!

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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 64: A Thirst


Friends, our keynote speaker at Frassati Fest 2016 was incredible so we recorded a podcast with him behind the scenes so you could meet him and hear his beautiful insight! Matt Faley is the Director of Young Adult and College Campus Ministry in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis and in this episode he talks with Sara about his personal journey with Jesus, dating advice, his vocation to marriage, and the beauty of personal prayer. Follow the link below for some incredibly inspiring thoughts from Matt!

Listen on ITunes


“…And You Are Christ’s”- Fr. Thomas Dubay, S.M.

The Only Light – Matt Faley’s debut EP

Hear more from our weekend at the Kalahari by checking out Episode 63: Around the Horn where we recorded a podcast live with the teens attending the retreat!

Freshly Brewed, Episode 63: Around the Horn


This past weekend while attending Frassati Fest, the Freshly Brewed hosts had a blast recording a live episode! With three rounds of questions led by the weekend’s emcees, Scottie and Sam, the four hosts competed against each other to win points based on the quality of their responses to the questions. Follow the link below to hear Bill, Lindsay, Topher, and Sara talk about who Jesus is, why He is relevant in our world today, and why He instituted the Church!

Listen on ITunes


Freshly Brewed, Episode 62: Re-treat Yourself

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Friends! In approximately 36 hours the largest high school retreat within the Diocese of Madison will begin! In light of this epic endeavor, the Freshly Brewed hosts decided to record a podcast highlighting the top 10 things you should know about Frassati Fest! Click the link below for some good insight into how to make the most out of this retreat as well as hear from the Emcees of Frassati Fest 2016, Scottie and Sam!

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Check out Matt Faley, the keynote speaker at Frassati Fest this year!

Freshly Brewed, Episode 61: The Color Man


Look out y’all, these men and this throwback are no joke and neither is this week’s podcast! This episode of Freshly Brewed features Chris’ long-time friend, Pat Åndera! Through serving for twelve summers and three full years at Camp Gray, working as a campus minister at Viterbo University, and now serving as the Director of Religious Education in Reedsburg, Pat has fostered a deep love of service that manifests itself in many different ways! Together, Chris and Pat discuss the importance and beauty of service! Follow the link below for some laughs and inspiration!

Listen on ITunes


Freshly Brewed, Episode 60: The Hymn and The Heart

Happy Thursday friends! We’re so excited to share with you this podcast Bill recorded with a rockin’ teen in our diocese, Sadie! Sadie is a senior in high school and in this pod she and Bill discuss the importance of finding a faith-filled community in school, using one’s talents to glorify the Lord, and strengthening one’s Catholic identity! Follow the link below for a glimpse into how one young woman is striving for holiness throughout the trials and joys of life as a student!

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Freshly Brewed, Episode 47: You’ve Got My Attention

As an Edgewood College graduate, survivor of a traumatic car accident, former Legislative Aid at the Capitol, former member of a rock band, and current FOCUS Team Director at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Jacob Rosemeyer has seen a lot my friends. This week on the podcast we decided to hear his perspective on continuous conversion, community, and our Blessed Mother! Listen to the podcast here for some serious inspiration!

Jacob (in the middle, back row) and his FOCUS team members at UW-Madison!
Jacob (in the middle, back row) and his FOCUS team members at UW-Madison!


12112181_10153808777878706_3479995377441296389_nFOCUS Blog: What the Karate Kid Taught Me About the Rosary – Jen Loser

33 Days to Morning Glory

October – Month of the Holy Rosary with St. Josemaría

How To Pray the Rosary

Worshipping a Hidden God – Luis M. Martinez

Prayer to St. Joseph the Worker

Learn more about FOCUS here!


Love Begins Here 2015 - Official CT Thank You

With great joy and deep gratitude, we’d like to formally start thanking a number of folks who’ve made this mission possible this summer!

  1. The Apostolate to the Handicapped
    For the third year in a row, we have been granted money from the Apostolate to help keep LBH running as it has increasingly become more and more a year round operation. The Apostolate’s grant this year has assisted us in hiring incredible staff members during the summer months and throughout the academic year. It is great gift to be able to serve, while being united in heart, mind and work with the Apostolate!
  2. Our Shareholders
    As of this week, we’ve raised $11,000 in donations towards the operation of Love Begins Here. Altogether, over 160 families have contributed to keeping LBH strong! This money directly impacts and assists families who do not have funds available to send their kids to Love Begins Here, and it keeps the participant cost low for our 520 teen missionaries. It’s not too late to become a LBH2015 Shareholder. (If you have donated, watch your mailboxes for invitations to the summer end dinner this week!)
  3. Our Core Team
    We began the summer with 10. Now, we are 11 strong. (Thanks to Paul J. for sticking around to help us out as the weeks have gone by. Volunteers turned Core Team are the best!) This team of passionate, enthusiastic, faithful, and hilarious young adults are doing an incredible job leading the missionaries throughout their weeks on the mission field. If you have yet to join us this summer, we promise that you’re in for a major dose of inspiration.

To express our gratitude and help you visualize what you make possible by supporting Love Begins Here, please watch this video:

More thanks are to come, as we conclude our summer in a couple weeks weeks! Stay tuned, friends!