Paul Spotts, founder of Catholic Young Adult Sports (CYAS), is dedicated to making CYAS a place for young adults to grow in their faith through strong community. The mission of CYAS has always been to bring people closer to God through community. CYAS strives to welcome anyone who wants to be part of such a community through recreational sports and then invites them to take it deeper than just play.
Lauren Sullivan's story is a perfect example of the positive effects resulting from her involvement with CYAS. Before finding CYAS, Lauren felt that she was missing community. She was raised as a Protestant, but converted to Catholicism at age 25. After her conversion, she never felt that her faith was properly formed, and the lack of a Catholic community contributed to her falling away from the faith. It was not until the first Sunday of Lent this past year that she found her way back to the Catholic Church. During the service, she heard Deacon Jason Wunsch, who is now Father Jason, deliver the homily. Lauren realized she had gone to high school with Jason and reached out to him via email. Father Jason gave her some advice on which she still reflects. He told her that when running toward Christ, she should look around and see who was running next to her. Those were the people she should spend more time with. Based on his encouragement, she became involved with CYAS.
Lauren began to discover people she could run with, literally and spiritually, when she subbed for the CYAS Ultimate Frisbee Team in the spring. She also became involved with several other Catholic young adult groups, but CYAS stood out mainly because of its kid-friendly and family-centered atmosphere. Lauren has 2 young daughters, Kylie and Amy, and felt comfortable bringing them to different events sponsored by CYAS, starting with the CYAS brunch after the canonization Mass for St. John Paul II. Since then, Lauren has increased her participation in CYAS. She was a member of the volleyball team for two seasons, took a tour of Coors Brewery, attended a Pentecost retreat at Allenspark, went to Faith Day at the Rockies, and she currently participates in a small group and volunteers for the Formation committee.
Lauren's outreach to CYAS made her realize the importance of staying involved with her Catholic community. She points out that all young adults struggle with similar issues and CYAS provides a great support system. She jokes that if she disappeared, someone from CYAS would come and find her. CYAS also holds her accountable for upholding the principles of her faith, which she knows she needs. "Without CYAS, it would have been harder to stay the course," Lauren said, in reference to her commitment to Catholicism. She added that even for non-Catholics, CYAS is a great group because of the whole-hearted support its members give to one another.