Why We Don't Go on Mission to Do Something

Although Catholic Young Adult Sports (CYAS) started as a way for young Catholics to get involved in the community through sports (Ultimate Frisbee, basketball, volleyball, etc.), the founder, Paul Spotts, had a much broader vision for this organization.
The mission of CYAS is to provide true faith formation among young adults. Paul wanted to reach young people in the Denver community and the Catholic community at large. On July 18, he decided to take a small group of young adults to Nicaragua--ten from Denver, three from San Diego. Their mission was to reach out to the Nicaraguan people, citizens of the second poorest nation in our hemisphere.

One of the members of the trip was the chaplain of CYAS, Fr. Scott Bailey. Fr. Scott is the youngest priest in the state of Colorado and was recruited by Paul soon after being ordained, who believed Fr. Scott would support the mission of CYAS in offering an opportunity for faith formation and building a greater ministry for the young Catholic adults in Denver. Fr. Scott had never been on a mission trip before, and after agreeing to join the trip to Nicaragua, he found himself experiencing both excitement and nervousness. He would have to say Mass in Spanish, which would be another new experience for him. Nevertheless, with the Holy Spirit on his side, he delivered his first Mass in Spanish on the first day of the trip. The Nicaraguans were very welcoming and interested in the missionaries; Fr. Scott was the first non-Nicaraguan priest to visit in 35 years. He said Mass every day, and the Mass was even broadcast on the local radio station.

The Nicaraguan Catholic community differs from a U.S. Catholic community in that Catholicism is built into the culture of Nicaragua. Fr. Scott recalls that there were 10 Protestant churches and only one Catholic Church, but 75% of the people are Catholic. People continuously filtered through the church all day long, even though there was no air conditioning in the building.

Fr. Scott believes that the chance to travel to a third world country and to build lasting relationships with its people gives participants of such a trip the opportunity to learn more about themselves, test their comfort levels, and discover God in a new way. This mission trip was not to paint walls or build houses, which are worthy endeavors, but playing sports with the children of Nicaragua built more personal relationships. The children will remember who played with them.

Nola Nackerud, a six year Peace Corp volunteer, agrees. Nola worked mainly with deaf kids as a Peace Corp volunteer and was asked to stay in Condega which is unheard of for a Peace Corp Volunteer. After leaving the Peace Corp she truly took a leap of faith selling all her possessions back in the U.S. and moving to Nicaragua   Nola acted as a translator for the missionaries on the CYAS trip. When asked to list some memorable moments from the visit, she had too many to mention them all. CYAS clearly had just as positive an impact on her as the Nicaraguans had on CYAS. Several evangelists have visited Condega, the town where she is based, but none have been Catholic. Nola was baptized in 2007 and then confirmed in 2009 into the Catholic Church, but she really only attended Mass (not even on a regular basis) before the CYAS missionaries arrived.Nola said, "Meeting CYAS gave a boost to my faith and my life." She added that attending Mass said by Fr. Scott also strengthened her faith because he could explain things in English. When asked how she felt about another mission trip in the summer of 2015, she exclaimed, "Bienvenidos...Welcome! Come and have a great experience of faith and culture and friendship!"

CYAS is currently the largest young adult group in the archdiocese of Denver, and it continues to grow. The founder and the members of the group are dedicated to continuing to build fellowship, both at home and abroad.

Anna Mann

Jumping from Rat Race to Purpose

The Latest Story from CYAS - by Kate Anderson
“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: www.catholicyoungadultsports.com/career