"How do I start a Frassati group?"
Great question! One of the best ways to put Pier Giorgio's charism into action is to start a group in your area that imitates his example. Often, people wonder if there are regulations and costs and commitments involved in having a Frassati group. The answers are no, no and no! FrassatiUSA does not have a membership or any control over or any input into or any connection with the various Frassati groups – other than providing a resource for promoting their existence. So, it is up to the Holy Spirit and the intercession of Blessed Pier Giorgio.
Many groups have formed in the U.S. and abroad using a structure specific only to them and their members. Links to some of them can be found on this website. (Look to your left!) For ideas, visit the websites and Facebook pages of some of the groups that are out there.
Some very general tips or suggestions for your
Frassati group are:
1) Always begin with prayer and make it your foundation and protection. When Pier Giorgio formed his "Tipi Loschi Society" (which we can say was the original Frassati Fellowship!) his central desire was that the group would always be connected in prayer and be a source of spiritual support for one another even when they were apart. Although they often engaged in practical jokes and spent time climbing mountains and going on outings, faith was the real rock that bound them together. It should be the same with your group.
2) Take time to read the books about Blessed Frassati and discuss them and get a good feel for his particular way of imitating Christ. Pier Giorgio was a man of many activities and devotions. Think about how your group feels called to follow his example. In addition to other things, considering joining
and practicing the daily act of prayer and charity.
3) Try to strike a balance with your activities (social, cultural, outdoor, political, spiritual, service, etc.) Keep it simple and try not to be a group that takes on too much or asks too much of its members. The idea is to cultivate a camaraderie that stems from the spirit of Blessed Pier Giorgio.
4) The example of Blessed Frassati will draw a wide variety of people to your activities. Stay open minded and expect new friendships to begin. Try to get as many people involved as possible. If you are a leader, delegate, delegate, delegate!
5) If you can have a priest or spiritual director involved with your group to stay on track and in line with Church teaching, it will be a big plus.
(Note: Years ago, we started a Frassati Society at my parish aimed at serving young adults, single or married, interested in growing in Faith, fellowship and friendship. Having it under the patronage of Blessed Pier Giorgio is what made it work. We focused on living the Beatitudes, as he did. We met on Wednesday evenings and had a four-week cycle of spiritual, service, catechetical and social. The group thrived because we also had a wonderful priest who led us – who was the one, in fact, who asked me to help him begin a group for that age range (20s and 30s).
I have found that every group has its own charism which guides its formation but Blessed Frassati provides a universal appeal. Men love him because he was manly. Women love him because he was manly. :) Well, let's be honest, it doesn’t hurt that he was so attractive, athletic, had a sense of humor, came from a very wealthy background, etc.! Regardless of what draws you to form some sort of a Frassati group, the ultimate goal is that it will rouse its members to shake off mediocrity and what the world offers and climb to the spiritual heights with Pier Giorgio. Verso l'alto! ///cmw)