Desiring to Spread the Thirst for Holiness


When Catholic Young Adult Sports (CYAS) Outreach Coordinator Angela Townsend graduated from college in May 2017, she wasn’t entirely sure what she wanted to do after school. A philosophy major from Christendom College in Virginia, Townsend looked into crises pregnancy centers for work, but realized she wanted to do something involving her faith.

Townsend went to school with CYAS Team Director Theresa Francis and heard the organization was looking for missionaries from Francis. When Francis moved to Colorado last July, Townsend went with her to meet the President and Founder Paul Spotts. Townsend went back to Virginia to fundraise, and then moved to Colorado in August.

“I really wanted to do something that spoke to my faith, spoke to that being the center of my life,” Townsend said. “I played sports my whole life and was really involved in the student activities council at my college, so this missionary work had everything in one.”

Townsend comes from a huge parish, however she realized that doesn’t mean the community is strong. After talking with a guy in her parish’s adoration chapel, she learned he was totally alone and didn’t know anybody despite being in a big parish. Townsend recognized she wanted to help her peers grow in holiness bring that community to people who felt alone.

“I was surprised because we do have a very huge flourishing parish where I’m from, but that doesn’t mean the outreach is good and doesn’t mean people are actually being effective at building community and purposeful about that,” Townsend said.

One of the biggest challenges but more rewarding experiences for Townsend with CYAS was the fundraising. She said it was the hardest thing she’s ever done, however she’d do it all over again for what she got out it. Townsend saw how present God was and appreciated all the meaningful conversations she had with people.

“I didn’t have one bad conversation with a person,” Townsend said. “My views of things were developed and widened as I talked with people. The encompassing amount of people that you reconnect with and who love you and support you, it’s overwhelming.”

Townsend works from home on most days, does a lot of administrative work and runs the sports leagues in the Denver area. CYAS is partnering with the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception in Denver where Townsend works to build the young adult outreach and sports leagues.

The Cathedral isn’t the first parish to collaborate with CYAS. The organization has also collaborated with St. Thomas More in Centennial where Francis runs the leagues. Townsend said the partnership has been incredible and things seem to be catching on.

Townsend led a trip to Paris and Rome in May with 11 travelers that included a homeless young adult gal. Through all this, Townsend’s ultimate goal is to grow in holiness and to bring as many people as she can closer to God.

“We’re all called to be saints, but we’re not called to be saints alone,” Townsend said. “I think no matter what happens if I’m growing in holiness and other people around me are growing in holiness, that’s the point. The huge focus moving forward is to make sure that it’s achieving people’s growth. What I want for myself is what I want for the program.”

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: