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  • Writer's pictureAndrew

Hot Chocolate Leads to Confirmation

When Will Frawley arrived on campus this past fall, he set out to discover a new group of friends. Little did he know that his desire for community would lead to a yearlong transformation in his life. “I was looking for a student organization to belong to and I saw chalking for a different faith-based group,” Will shared, “I attended one of their events and it wasn’t for me, but it revealed to me that I wanted a community grounded in faith.”

Will was baptized Catholic, but his family slowly drifted from the faith. “I attended religious education for a few years, but my family gradually stopped going to Mass and religious education after I received my first communion,” Will recounted. This was enough for Will to search out if there was anything for Catholics on Campus. “I saw a post on Instagram about free hot chocolate and it was on my path from my dorm to class, so I decided to stop by,” Will shared. There he met some of our missionaries who invited Will to Wednesday night Mass and Thursday Night dinner. “Who can pass up a free dinner?” Will shared with a bit of a chuckle. After a few weeks of dinners, Will started attending Sunday night Mass with his new friends. “I started feeling a closeness to God that I had never experienced before,” recalled Will, “I started asking my friends what the proper ways were to worship God. It was through my friends and the missionaries that I learned about Adoration and the True Presence of Christ in the Eucharist.”

This new intimacy with Christ also stirred up another desire in Will, to be in full communion with Christ and His Church. “Since I had never been confirmed, I desired to be fully initiated into the Catholic Church.” Students have the choice to prepare for confirmation by either taking RCIA classes at St. Patrick or through individual preparation (or in a small group setting when enough interest) with Warhawk Catholic. “Since I don’t have a car on campus and the CMC was so close to my dorm, I decided to meet with Andrew,” Will shared, “In the end I loved finding a time that worked in my schedule and the more individual approach. Andrew crafted a process around the habits I wanted to grow in and the many questions I had.” Highlights of the confirmation process for Will diving into the Catechism, exploring the lives of the Saints, attending the Spring Retreat, and joining a small group to discuss and pray with the upcoming Sunday readings. “The retreat was very important to the process for me,” Will shared, “I met Kevin Kolter, a friend of Andrew and an alum of UW-Whitewater who got confirmed as a young adult. It was impactful to hear his story and he helped me in picking my sponsor.” With Kevin’s guidance, Will decided to pick a sponsor from the Warhawk Catholic community whose faith he admired and someone he could lean on for the rest of his life. “Luis, my small group leader became a natural choice.”

Will was confirmed at the Easter Vigil Mass at St. Patrick this past April. “Confirmation feels like a new beginning for me, one grounded in a relationship with Christ,” Will shared, “Because of this process I feel very close to Christ and more confident in what I believe.” Will also has a new desire: to share the faith with others who drifted from Christ before college. “I am excited to be apart of the missionary disciple training this fall to help form and equip me to walk with my peers, Will said, “I can’t imagine how my life has been impacted in just a year. And to think, it all started from a free hot chocolate and an invitation to a free dinner that made this journey possible.”

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