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Frassati Fest - Fun With a Twist

Frassati Fest - Fun With a Twist

By Carolyn Bohm, Frassati Fest Planning Team Member

Typically at this time of year, around 350 high schoolers and chaperones from all across the Diocese of Madison come together at the Kalahari Resort in the Wisconsin Dells for a weekend retreat called Frassati Fest. There’s normally live keynote speakers, teen testimonies, opportunities for Adoration and Confession, parish time, and of course, there’s tons of fun at the water park. However, this year, the twist was to split up to reduce the size of one large group and instead meet as individual parishes. The St. Maria Goretti session included 31 students and was hosted on Saturday, February 6, in the Parish Hall.

The patron of this event is Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati, who was from Italy and died at the young age of 26. He was an avid mountain climber and used his love for the outdoors to reach people who could not otherwise receive help. One of his most famous quotes is “The higher we go the better we shall hear the voice of Christ.” He is named the "Man of the Beatitudes." The diocese started holding Frassati Fest 22 years ago to get high schoolers to meet each other and grow in their faith while “going to the heights" to encounter Christ with one another. This year, fun activities such as large group games were revamped with social distancing in mind. Activities throughout the day centered around the theme "Rebuild" and high schoolers were encouraged to rebuild their life on the firm foundation of Christ. Group leader Kate Ringeisen said “At the end of the day, high schoolers wrote down something they would like to intentionally do more often to grow closer to God and rebuild on Him.”

Due to the change in location, the keynote talk, as well as all the teen testimonies, were pre-recorded. Keynote speaker Sara Schiedermayer made points about how disorienting this past year has been. However, if we reflect on how our lives are built on the firm foundation of Christ, we will notice that nothing can separate us from Him, not even a pandemic. Teen testimonies were given by Lily Rozeski, Carolyn Bohm, and Sophia Monforte. Each shared their personal faith journey and small groups discussed afterwards. We were lucky enough to have Lily and Carolyn at our parish to present in-person.

One of the best things about Frassati Fest is that it is an event for high schoolers that is planned by high schoolers. The Frassati Fest Planning Team met monthly with Diocesan staff. They started in August to prepare for the event and even met a few times afterwards to reflect on and celebrate the awesome event. Through the Planning Team, high schoolers have made lifelong friendships and had an absolute blast. Each month, they spend time intentionally getting to know each other better, growing closer to God, and being prepared with the right tools to spread God’s message with those they encounter, all while having tons of fun. Senior Carolyn Bohm said, “Going to Frassati Fest and then deciding to join the Planning Team has definitely changed my life. I’ve met some of my new best friends and deepened existing friendships. It is so much more than simply a planning committee; it’s an authentic Catholic community.”

Any high school student who has attended Frassati Fest previously and would like to get involved in the Planning Team can contact Meghan Bonham at

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