This Catholic Social Organization, an apostolate of Cor Unum, serves Catholic young adults, ages 21 to 39. The Frassati House promotes a virtuous community of charity, respect, and support. As such, the Frassati House exists for the sake of its members, to be a place of community, faith, formation, friendship, and fun.
Often the balance of a healthy integrated life can become disrupted in everyday chaos. Where can we find a community that helps us become who we are meant to be and live our vocation to holiness? A what without a where is nowhere! And many Catholic young adults feel like there is nowhere for them to go for this kind of community. The Frassati House wants to provide this “where” to the “what” and function as a hub of the Catholic Young Adult Community.
The Frassati house promotes a culture of encounter—for meaningful life-giving relationships. This in turn forms the foundation of a culture of love. Community helps us cultivate the virtues necessary to grow in our human, spiritual, intellectual, and pastoral dimensions. While Cor Unum will provide formal events and formation, having a place to encounter others should not be underestimated. Simply having an everyday common space to be present provides the informal opportunity for members to “bump” into each other, to have spontaneous life-giving conversations, and create unexpected connections. This type of leisure and recreation among friends builds culture, but community life must not stop there. It must lead to bolder and fuller expressions of charity.
Faith comes to fruition in works of mercy, serving Christ in others. This requires a community effort of receiving and offering love to others. “Anyone who wishes to give love must also receive love as a gift” (Deus Caritas Est 7). Thus the Frassati House community, if it does what it’s supposed to do, should motivate its members towards charitable action, for “faith without works is dead” (James 2:17). An authentic Catholic community should compel its members toward service and love. Cor Unum encourages and expects Frassati House members to respond to the way God is calling them to serve others by participating and serving their local church parish and the greater community.
The Frassati House is named after Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati. Bl. Pier Giorgio excelled in the virtue of friendship. His deep spiritual life, centering around devotion to Christ in the Eucharist and Mother Mary, shaped the way he related to and loved others. He understood that his life, and even his career, was meant to always be in service to Christ. He studied to become a mining engineer in order to “serve Christ better among the miners.” Convicted by the Social Doctrine of the Church, he became a servant to the poor and suffering. He also enjoyed outings with his friends, going to the mountains, theater, opera, and museums. Love for life did not deter him from death. He became sick, most likely from the poor and suffering he served, and died as a young adult. Pope St. John Paul II beatified Pier Giorgio Frassati, callling him the “Man of the Eight Beatitudes,” and remarking that as a young man he “was able to witness to Christ with singular effectiveness in this century of ours.”
Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati embodies the mission of the Frassati House. His friendships, sense of adventure, spiritual life, cultivation of virtue, and participation in the arts all moved him to charitable action. The good things he received and the culture he enjoyed were never meant to be only for him. Rather, these gifts taught him of God’s goodness and love so that in the context of a community of faith he discovered his vocation to serve the poor and suffering.