Theresa Francis Just Passed Her Year Mark as a Missionary

theresa story

Despite working at a Catholic college for three years, Catholic Young Adult Sports (CYAS) missionary Theresa Francis felt she wasn’t doing enough in the way of evangelizing. Last summer Francis moved to Colorado after growing up in Virginia to take a job with CYAS hoping to find a little more meaning behind her job.

Francis graduated from Christendom College in 2014 and worked as an event planner for the college for almost three years. Francis said she loved the environment she worked in, but felt like she could be doing so much more.

“I was doing the events for the sake of themselves,” Francis said. “I really wanted to do an event for the people, do something for someone instead of the event itself. That translated into looking into ministry of some sort.”

Francis found the job on, contacted President and Founder Paul Spotts, interviewed and got the job soon after. Something that stood out to her about being a missionary for CYAS was that it was young adults. Francis usually volunteered for groups either older or younger than her, so doing something for her peers was new to her.

Francis started fundraising in March 2017 for three months then drove out to Colorado in July. Although Francis did reach her fundraising goal, she admits it was a daunting but humbling experience.

“I went through experiences that were really rough and challenging both for my faith and personally, but overall I wouldn’t change it,” Francis said. “It was a proclamation of God’s love and how he supports you and when you trust he’s there for you. I saw that every step of the way. The generosity of people, it was incredible in that sense.”

One of Francis’s biggest roles with the organization was helping start the first parish partnership with St. Thomas More in Centennial. Francis works with Brett Manero, the Coordinator of Evangelization and Adult Faith Formation, twice a week plus Saturday and Sunday managing the leagues.

Since starting in July, she’s started two leagues, does two or three events a month, has started a monthly event with Fr. John Riley, and helps Manero with game nights and book study’s. Francis has started a female bible study and Manero will soon start a men’s study. Francis said she’s seen significant growth in CYAS and that the male and female dynamic is the reason for the partnership’s success.

“It’s really hard to start something when nothing is there,” Francis said. “By partnering with parishes it’s getting the wheels already turning and developing off of that. Because of that it’s helpful for CYAS, but also for the parish in the same way. I think it is key to have both a male and female in those roles to connect with both. I’ve only seen great things happen from it and I love the partnership.”

Besides the new partnership being a success, Francis said her favorite part about CYAS so far has been her bible study. She enjoys the bond between all the girls in her study and likes the diversity and commitment from all the members. Bringing in new people to the group has never been a problem because everybody has been very welcoming.

Francis said despite the growth from the organization, CYAS still has a lot to do to be even more successful. One of their main goals is to hire six missionaries for expansion in the next six months. They are trying to recruit for Chicago, Denver and San Diego. Francis said she believes CYAS can one day be as big as FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students), because there’s a need just as big as theirs.

“Already we have four other states that want us to come, but we can’t because we need missionaries,” Francis said. “The need is always there and is something that could definitely grow. I think it can only go up from here so I’m excited to be a part of it.”

Anna Mann

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“Once I stormed Heaven, reached out to friends and family, the desire to serve this ministry, specifically CYAS only grew stronger. So I followed the call I truly believe the Holy Spirit put on my heart and can proudly say, I am a CYAS missionary…in training! Praise God!” Mann said.
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CYAS is a 501c3 non-profit charity, meaning donations are tax-deductible to the degree allowed by law. Like nearly all charities we have a revenue generating side through our sports leagues (e.g. red cross sells blood from blood drives) and a larger fundraising/charity side that is the heart of why we do the sports (discipleship through Bible studies, retreats, and mission trips). CYAS'  revenue from leagues is not nearly enough to cover the expenses for a national outreach ministry. In fact, it isn't even enough after expenses for one full-time staff employee. Donations primarily serve our mission in these main areas:

  1. To cover players that receive free scholarships for playing in our leagues (10% of participants)
  2. Expansion of our services in existing locations (including marketing for outreach and the development of formation programs)
  3. Expansion efforts (including our need for support staff and office space to build a national system - think league operation support, national marketing, donation processing and servicing, accounting, legal support, and expansion related travel and training systems)
  4. To pay for our insurance cost (about $10,000/year and growing as we grow)
  5. The ongoing formation, training and community building among our missionaries. They need to be loved in order to continue sharing His love
The captain's deposit is just that, a deposit ensuring us of your teams participation in the league. It is non-refundable, because we get field time and schedule around your team being playable. Captains with unused deposits will normally be offered a league credit, if CYAS is notified before the end of registration that the captain's team will not be in the league.

Full refunds will be provided for any event that we cannot hold due to field scheduling conflicts, lack of interest, or any other cancellation of a league/event on our part.

If a player is injured and will miss the remainder of the league, we suggest they help recruit a permanent sub and ask them to subsidize their fees (please contact us so we are aware of the arrangements & injury, or for help finding possible replacements).

Free agents and donations are non-refundable. Credits may be given to free agents for leagues, if they notify us before registration closes.

We wouldn't be "Catholic" Young Adult Sports if we weren't!

Several teams have both spouses playing and bring babies or kids to be watched by substitutes on the bench or by bringing a friend/relative spectator. Many captains will also let the couple share a team fee and just not play at the same time depending on if the team needs a man or woman. Couples may also free agent and join a team in this method, just contact us if you plan on rotating play and want a discounted team fee.


The Catholic Church is not adverse to the use of alcohol by adults in moderation.In fact, it was customary for Jews to drink wine within religious celebrations and regularly with meals. Jesus himself made good wine abundant at the Wedding of Cana and ultimately transformed wine into the gift of his blood, which we receive at the Catholic mass offered daily. Therefore, we are comfortable with the casual and responsible enjoyment of alcohol and are not adverse to gathering after a game at the local family friendly sports bar for fellowship and to enjoy a drink, and/or meal, in moderation.

We do ask participants to please refrain from consumption during our leagues out of respect for our participants who are opposed to the consumption of alcohol, are underage, and to help us provide a good witness that healthy fun community can exist without the assistance of liquid spirits.

It is CYAS policy that during CYAS events, where alcohol is allowed, only beer and wine may be consumed, no hard liquor or mixed drinks.

JOIN AS A FREE AGENT! We'll place you on a team or create a team of other FAs for you. If you only have a few friends you want to play with you can also ask to be placed together with others on a team or have some FAs added to complete your team.
CYAS has a strategic plan of national growth to reach young adults, evangelize through Bible studies and retreats, and provide awesome kick butt sport leagues, social events and mission trips. We have a hurdle though...missionary staff! We are praying for the Lord of the Harvest to provide laborers. If you know someone interested please send them to this link and suggest they apply to discern with us: