Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati
Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati
God has called me to serve collegiate student-athletes at the University of South Dakota. There is a famine for good men in the world and I am humbled to be working with athletes that have a platform to reach others.
Silence. My whole life has been in silence. Yet, my journey back home to my faith has had a lot of noise.
After my first Catholic Mass away from home my freshman year, I sat in the pews for another 20 minutes and realized I couldn’t hear a single word of what just happened. I couldn’t hear the prayers, the homily, or the music. Nothing.
I was born profoundly deaf and grew up in a home of sign language and captioned TV. Phone calls didn’t happen for me and drive thru’s were a nightmare. At school, I used an FM System to try to follow along with my classmates. My outlet to try to fit in with others was sports. In the beginning, football was the hardest, and I did everything I could to keep my hearing aids in. I taped them. I tried headbands. I even tried putting pantyhose on my head to keep them from falling out.
After much trial and error, I was able to play football since the no-huddle offense was becoming mainstream. The form of communication was sign language and blended perfectly with my hearing loss. I was able to go on to play football at the University of Nebraska where my head coach Scott Frost used a no-huddle system. I never heard the whistle during games and practices or the quarterback’s cadence. I never false-started but always had a difficult time knowing when the play was over.
In the winter of 2019, I ended up going to Indianapolis to a national SEEK conference. The only reason I went was to get a Varsity Catholic missionary from FOCUS to stop bothering me with an invitation to go. I had been away from my faith for a while and was frustrated at the conference for not being able to hear most of what was going on.
One of the last nights at SEEK is the night of adoration. Growing up in the Catholic Church all my life, I may have been able to answer on a test what was in the monstrance in front of me, but in all reality, I had no idea. As the Blessed Sacrament was processed around the arena, I sat in my chair and observed. As I looked to the left of me, a middle-aged woman was on her knees sobbing hysterically. I was baffled. The older gentleman to the right of me had his hands in his hair and was trembling. It was the strangest thing.
I remember mulling over in my head what had happened that night for the next several nights. Back in Nebraska, I spent the next weeks with my missionary asking him about what happened. As I went into the chapel, I remember noticing that no one else was in there with me. Yet, as I looked at the tabernacle I knew I wasn’t alone.
Shortly after, I ended up going to confession for the first time in a long time. To this day, I have never heard a homily at Mass, the prayers, or the music. But if the person I encountered that night in Indianapolis in the Blessed Sacrament is Jesus himself, in the words of Simon Peter, “Lord, to whom shall we go?”
If you are interested in partnering with me, please let me know of the best way to reach you and I will schedule an appointment.
We encounter God in an intimate relationship through daily prayer, the sacraments and the Scriptures.
By building genuine friendships, we meet students on a deeper level.
We teach students how to share the gospel, who in turn teach other students how to pass it on …