Archbishop of Denver Talks about Evangelizing Youth

By Lynn Fischer

About 200 people flocked to St. Raymond’s Catholic Church in Dublin, CA, this week to hear the Archbishop of Denver, Samuel J. Aquila, speak about how a strong lay apostolate movement was built in Denver (full transcript here). The evening was made possible by Catholics at Work, a faith-based organization that brings inspiring speakers to the San Francisco East Bay to share their challenges and successes on how to live their faith in the work life.

Ever since Saint Pope John Paul II inspired the lay movement at World Youth Day in 1993 in Denver, the evangelization of youth (in Denver) has taken hold, said Archbishop Aquila.

But before the Archbishop shared the story of evangelization in Denver, he first addressed the priest sexual abuse issues. He called for transparency, prayer and healing.

He was not alone.

Along with other bishops in the nation who have taken decisive actions in this regard, our local Bishop Michael Barber of Oakland, CA, who was also in attendance at the presentation, has called for ongoing, increased prayers for healing in parishes diocesan-wide, and recently made headlines for his clear and public commitment to release within 45 days the names of priests who have been credibly accused of sexual abuse in the Oakland Diocese.

As Archbishop Aquila spoke about Denver, he shared a perspective of a single story and urged the audience to realize that “the Church is much more than a single story.” He continued by sharing how the youth energized the Catholic Church since World Youth Day in 1993. 

The Archbishop described an entrepreneurial spirit with a strong sense of urgency and purpose. There are more than 40 active apostolates in Denver that are having both national and international impact. FOCUS is one of those apostolates and will be featured at next month’s Catholics at Work Inspiring Speaker Series. Archbishop Aquila gave credit to St. John Paul II for planting the seeds of inspiration with over 750,000 people in attendance at World Youth Day.

And His Excellency drew attention to several quotes, “This is no time to be ashamed of the Gospel” and “Woe to me if I do not evangelize.”

Humbly describing the evangelization of the Denver youth, Archbishop Aquila referred to St. John Paul II’s perspective that young people are thirsty for the joy and love of Christ. In fact, St. Pope John Paul II called this profound transformation “A Revolution.”

Archbishop Aquila went on to share that God has a unique plan for each person and that God knows us by name. He recognized the importance of laity, encouraging the audience to be bold in one’s faith to develop a mission-centric culture.

Archbishop then encouraged the congregation to renew their personal relationship with Jesus Christ by pursuing the three theological virtues of faith, hope and charity.  “Know the Father as Your Father,” he encouraged.

Archbishop Aquila reminded the audience that “Our faith is not the institution.”

Attendees received his message with a standing ovation followed by a question and answer session. Relevant Radio was also there in support of Catholics at Work. For more information about the sponsoring ministry, please go to

For Catholic business groups in other parts of the country and world, go to the Catholic Business Journal’s Catholic Business Directory here:  If your local Catholic business club is not listed, please contact the Catholic Business Journal and let them know.



Lynn Fischer is the president and CEO of Title21 and an active member of Catholics at Work (Oakland Diocese).

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