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.”