The teenage years are often considered the toughest years of a person’s life – moments of anxiety, frustration, questions, and fear create uncertainty in goals and beliefs. For alumnus Everett Fritz ’02, his teenage years were a time of reawakening his Catholic faith and setting the stage for a life of ministry.
“While I was raised Catholic, I fell in love with Jesus Christ and the Catholic Church when I was 16 years old,” recalled Fritz. “Ever since then, the only thing that I have wanted to do was share the Catholic faith with others. I find ministry leaders are most attracted to ministries that meant something for their own faith development. I found my faith as a teenager, and I have spent my entire adult life helping teenagers to find faith as well.”
“I received my associate’s degree from Holy Cross College in 2002, my bachelor’s in Theology from the Franciscan University of Steubenville in 2004, and my master’s in Theology from the Augustine Institute in 2010,” said Fritz. “Since 2006, I have been working in parish ministry, primarily with youth, for the past 16 years. In 2016, I launched my own apostolate – Andrew Ministries – where I provide consulting for Catholic institutions in discipleship-focused youth ministry. I have authored 4 books, including One Disciple at a Time from Ave Maria Press, and I have given presentations on discipleship all over the world.”
Holy Cross College’s impact
“One of the things that I appreciate about my education at Holy Cross is how personally engaged the faculty and staff are with the students. Holy Cross College is a small school, but the professors and staff are very engaged in the life of the students. This dynamic provided many opportunities for mentorship. It was evident that the Holy Cross faculty genuinely cared about each student,” notes Fritz.
“One of the most powerful moments of my life happened during my freshman year of college at Holy Cross College. I was dating my high school sweetheart long distance and also discerning a call to the priesthood. One evening, I finally made a decision, and I offered that decision to the Lord while sitting in front of the Blessed Sacrament in the chapel. I told the Lord that I was going to break up with my girlfriend and enter the seminary, and he had one hour to change my mind if it wasn’t His will. I gave Jesus one hour because I was attending RCIA as a sponsor that evening.,” said Fritz.
At the class, the group listened to a presentation by then Director of Campus Ministry Bob Kloska.
“Rather than spending the hour explaining the Theology of the sacrament, Bob spent the hour simply giving witness to how he has found and followed Christ within his own marriage. For the first time, I understood how Holy Matrimony sanctifies a couple. By the time I left that lesson, there was no doubt in my mind that I was made for the vocation of Holy Matrimony. I married my high school sweetheart in 2006, and we have been married for 16 years,” notes Fritz.
“A wise person once told me, ‘Living in the future is living in a graceless moment.’ We can look at the past and the present, and we can see God moving in our lives. If we look into the future, grace has yet to be given for those moments. Today, I am trying to spend time with my kids, grow in love and partnership with my wife, and grow my apostolate. I’ll worry about tomorrow when I get to it,” said Fritz.
Photo provided by Everett Fritz ’02.