How these college freshmen found the faith through friendship

Catholic News Agency | 8/25/2019 | Staff
jollyjetta (Posted by) Level 3
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Denver, Colo., Aug 25, 2019 / 04:00 am (CNA).- The phenomenon is well-documented. When young Catholics go away to college, a troublingly high percentage of them stop practicing their faith. And many who stop going to Mass in college, never return.

Initiatives like FOCUS, and Newman Centers across the country, are all geared toward helping young Catholics stem the tide - to grow as Catholics in college, rather than wither.

Easter - Men - Colorado - Part - Trend

Last Easter, three young men in Colorado were part of a different trend. They didn’t leave Catholicism in college. Instead, they became Catholics.

Jake Keller, a civil engineering major; Ian Horton, a finance major; and Anthony Ascolese, a natural resource management major, will be upcoming sophomores at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Keller - Ascolese - Year - Formation - Horton

Keller and Ascolese began their freshman year in 2018 with little religious formation at all. Horton, who had been a committed atheist until 17, entered the University of Colorado at Boulder as a newly converted Protestant. He transferred to CSU during his second semester.

Ascolese told CNA that he grow up occasionally going to Baptist services with his grandmother, or to Mass with Catholic families, but that he had never givne much attention to faith. But when he began attending CSU, he connected with some Catholic friends and was invited to some events at the Catholic student cener.

Catholic - Stuff - Fields - Campus - Ascolese

“[Growing up,] they have always invited me to [Catholic] stuff, and [they] invited me to the intramural fields that are on campus,” Ascolese said.

“I saw this big flag that said ‘Ram Catholic,’ and I was like, ‘Oh no, here they go again,’” he told CNA.

Ascolese - Events

Initially, Ascolese said, he felt uncomfortable at Catholic events.

“I would just feel really out of place because I didn’t have much of a knowledge of God or anything like those traditional stories... So anytime I was there, like a Bible...
(Excerpt) Read more at: Catholic News Agency
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