Faith and Formation

    Full Member Workshop 2015 (VIDEO!)

    Peter Clem No Comments

    This past weekend, our Full Members gathered for our annual Full Member Workshop at our Main House in McLean, VA. We began the day with an hour of adoration during which Fr. Jack gave us his Director’s Charge (video below!). He encouraged the brothers to “focus” and to “fight”. The day was primarily centered on making amendments to our Statutes but the busy work did not take away from a wonderful day to gather as brothers and cherish each other’s company. The day ended as we began it, in the chapel. However instead of adoration, we celebrated Mass, which was the culmination of our gathering.

    Food for the Soul: The Real St. Patrick

    Peter Clem No Comments

    St Patrick Shamrock Image

    Today we celebrate St. Patrick’s feast day. Sometimes we put more the focus on leprechauns and green food, so take some time to hear from Fr. Jack about who St. Patrick was and how this great saint changed an entire country. Be sure to mark your calendar for next month’s Food for the Soul on Thursday, April 23rd!


    Food for the Soul: The Problem of Evil

    Peter Clem No Comments

    This month, Fr. Jack dived into the problem of evil and highlighting the Christian response to suffering. Check out the video below. Be sure to mark your calendar for the next Food for the Soul on Monday, March 16th at 7:30pm!


    Food for the Soul: What Are You Looking For?

    Peter Clem No Comments

    Last Thursday night, Fr. Jack posed Jesus’ question to us: “What are you looking for?” He talked about prayer, encounter with the Lord, and how we are to go out and evangelize based on our relationship with Jesus. Be sure to check out the talk below!

    Advent Reflection from Fr. Jack

    Peter Clem No Comments

    Fr. Jack reflected on how this week before Christmas can be very busy. Check out this quick video to here his challenge to you!  (He made it a point to show off his UVA Santa hat.)

    Food for the Soul: Heaven: Who’s In and Who’s Out?

    Chris Johnson No Comments

    Every 2nd Friday of the month, we have Food for the Soul. We begin with Mass at 7 AM, breakfast, and then a reflection on a variety of topics. This morning, Fr. Jack Peterson led us in a discussion of the Church’s teachings on who is to enter Heaven. This event is open for all those who wish for their soul’s to be fed. Our next one is December 12th!

    Check out the video and Subscribe to our Youtube channel!


    Fall Consecrated Gathering

    Peter Clem No Comments

    By Fr. Jack Peterson, YA


    YCL logo

    The eight Consecrated men of Youth Apostles broke away from their routines for an overnight gathering to a house at Lake Anna on Monday and Tuesday this week. Fr. Peter and Jonathan coordinated this blessed opportunity to build community. Creating occasions for formation and fellowship among the Consecrated is even harder now with two of our Consecrated clerics spread out around the state.

    FGGIt was a brief but enjoyable gathering. We prayed together, enjoyed the peace and calm of the lake, spent some of our time conversing around an outdoor fire pit, went for an after-dinner stroll, and watched “For Greater Glory” later in the evening.

    For me, the highlight of our time together was the afternoon when we discussed four questions and the conversations that they yielded which were uplifting, enjoyable, and fruitful.:

    1. How shall we celebrate the upcoming Year for the Consecrated?Pope Francis YCL

    2. Shall we establish a habit for the lay Consecrated?

    3. What do we want future assignments for our priests to look like?

    4. How can we better live our promise of poverty as Consecrated men?

    Another highlight was the blessing of having Peter Clem join us for the first time. We are thrilled to have him spend this year further discerning God’s call in his life.

    May God bless our Consecrated men with the grace to grow in holiness and to live out their commitment with fervor and joy. May He bless our community with more men who discern the call to dedicate their lives to building God’s kingdom among young people alongside us. Click here for more information on vocations within Youth Apostles!

    Cardinal Sean in DC

    Peter Clem No Comments

    Cardinal Sean emulating the Joy of the Gospel!

    Last night, September 9th, a group of brothers, a few wives, and some friends made their way into DC to see Cardinal Sean O’Malley speak at the Newseum.  The event was hosted by the John Caroll Society.  It was a wonderful night centered around discussing Pope Francis and the New Evangelization.  One of the main points he made was about how we need to be missionary disciples to the Western world where it can be more difficult to reinvigorate the Church in places where people know of Jesus but are apathetic to following him.  Frequently quoting the Holy Father, he spoke about the need for tenderness in protecting people and showing concern.  “The truth isn’t a wet rag that you throw at someone but a warm cape that you wrap around and embrace another with.”

    Another major point was addressing the need to reach out to others beyond our own spheres.  “The Church must open its doors, not only to let others in, but to go out into the world.”  And when we go out, we need to reach out to those in poverty who are in greatest need of spiritual feeding.  He spoke about how we can do nothing without God and if we do nothing, God won’t be able to.  The idea of being the hands and feet of Jesus to the poorest of the poor was drawn primarily from Pope Francis’ apostolic exhortation, The Joy of the Gospel.


    In reference to something we can be doing, Cardinal Sean spoke of a story of the homily John the Apostle would give.  People would ask John why he kept giving the same homily.  John responded: “Little children, love one another.  When Jesus walked with us, this is what he always told us.”  Cardinal Sean told us Jesus gave the gift of the Eucharist and the command to love one another on Holy Thursday and then on Ascension Thursday the gift of the promise of the Holy Spirit and the command to go make disciples of all nations.  He ended the night with questions and told us that we learn the faith just as we learn a language: by living in a community with others who know it and live it.  The night ended with a lengthy standing ovation and many smiles as we left with much to ponder.  But before we left, Fr. Jack and Fr. Peter were invited to go back and give a brief hello to the Cardinal.

    Gluttony, Addiction, and Intent

    Chris Johnson No Comments

    This article is by Josh Schubert, a Substance Abuse Counselor for Fairfax County Youth and Family Services. He is a graduate of the Franciscan University of Steubenville. He recently addressed the Youth Apostles Full Members in July on Drugs and Addiction as part of our monthly formation.


    John 10:10 “I am come that they may have life, and may have it more abundantly.”


                    The problem with drugs is not that they feel good, it is the opposite. The more you use drugs the more you feel less pleasure to the point that only intoxication feels good or normal. Feeling less pleasure, leads to craving what will give you the most pleasure, the intoxication. As the addiction progresses the individual’s value system changes and the focus of life becomes the intoxication. The individual becomes not addicted to any one type of drug, but to the intoxication. Almost all drugs of addiction look the same in the brain’s pleasure response, the part that becomes addicted.

    God intended for us to have each emotion for a reason, pleasure is no different. Pleasure is supposed to move us to do more of something, like eat yummy apples. The problem with drugs is that they are so pleasurable that the brain becomes overstimulated. The brain then adapts to overstimulation (Tolerance) and the result is a brain that is numb to pleasure. Like all sin, such as gluttony, it is a distortion of the good and natural. Thomas Aquinas said of gluttony: “Gluttony denotes not any desire of eating and drinking, but an inordinate (excessive) desire.”

    It is more likely today that a teenager will smoke marijuana, than drink alcohol or smoke a cigarette. Marijuana is the most widely abused drug by teens and a common rebuttal from teens about smoking and legalizing marijuana is that alcohol is legal, more dangerous, and just as intoxicating. As the culture begins to legalize marijuana (19 states and counting) the Church will need to come up with a definitive answer about the differences of alcohol vs. marijuana and other drugs.

    I believe it boils down to intention. Matthew 15:11 “It is not what enters one’s mouth that defiles that person; but what comes out of the mouth is what defiles one.” People can morally drink alcohol for social enjoyment and health benefits (Yes, there are health benefits). If the intention of drinking alcohol is intoxication then the action becomes immoral; in addition, while intoxicated they lose ability to reason and harm their body’s health. The only reason people use marijuana, beside legitimate medical use, is to become intoxicated. Addiction can become immoral when the values change, placing intoxication before God, health, and others.

    G.K. Chesterton from his book Orthodoxy: “We should thank God for beer and Burgundy by not drinking too much of them.”


    • YouCat: 352,  1st Commandment
    • YouCat: 389, Drugs are a sin due to the self-destructive nature…
    • CCC: 1731-1738, Freedom and Responsibility
    • CCC: 2288-2291, Respect for health


    Youth Apostles Institute to lead campus ministry efforts at Virginia Tech

    Chris Johnson No Comments

    YAman_newThe Youth Apostles Institute has accepted an invitation from the Most Rev. Francis X. DiLorenzo, the bishop of the Diocese of Richmond, to lead the Catholic campus ministry at Virginia Tech. The appointment will go into effect June 1, 2013.

    Rev. David M. Sharland, YA, who has served as the chaplain and director of the campus ministry at Marymount University in Arlington, Virginia, since July 2007, has been named the new director of campus ministry for Virginia Tech’s Newman Community.

    Chris Hitzelberger, a Full Member in Youth Apostles who has coordinated the parish youth ministry programs at Blessed Sacrament Catholic Church in Alexandria, Virginia, since June 2004, joins Father Sharland as the assistant director of campus ministry.

    “It is with great joy and gratitude to God, that we announce this appointment,” said Rev. John P. Peterson, YA, the general director of the Youth Apostles Institute. “We are honored by the invitation to take on this important ministry that serves the large Catholic student population of such an outstanding university and we look forward to the opportunity to assist the Church in bringing Christ to the students, faculty and staff at Virginia Tech.

    “We are also most grateful to Father John Grace for the years of generous and dedicated service to the Catholic community at Virginia Tech.”

    The McLean, Virginia-based Youth Apostles Institute is a mixed association of the Christian faithful whose 80 Full Members and Candidates are committed to evangelize, teach, advise, challenge, console and love young people with the ultimate purpose of inspiring them to live Christ-like lives centered on prayer and the sacraments of the Catholic Church. Youth Apostles Full Members lead the diocesan youth ministry offices in Virginia’s two Catholic dioceses. Others are responsible for youth ministry programs at six parishes in Virginia and the campus ministry programs at Marymount University, George Mason University, Old Dominion University and Christopher Newport University.

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