I recall like it was yesterday being introduced to the movement in its infancy and my firm, VENTURE3Philanthropy joining as one of the founding business partners, and having a client, The Dorothy A. Johnson Center for Philanthropy, a client, join the movement, too!

Today, I remain so proud to be serving with passion so many others in the field of philanthropy. And I feel every more blessed to be Catholic! I love my faith, introduced to me as an infant by my loving parents, in a wonderful family of three brothers, parents who offered me all the holy sacraments, and educated me in Catholic schools as a child. Today, I am the mother of four daughters, am blessed with a loving, supportive husband, and grateful to be a small business owner of VENTURE3Philanthropy LLC, a global, philanthropic advisory firm that is privileged to serve multi-generational families of means, through their foundations, and enterprises, and assist them in designing giving strategies that make a lasting impact on the lives of others.

About 20 months ago, I was blessed with the gift of an idea, truly placed on my heart by the Holy Spirit, to inspire our next generation of Catholic young adults to a greater experience of our Catholic faith, meeting them right where they are…in the midst of technology and social media. Throughout these months, I have sat in prayer, reflection, writing all that I was instructed, sharing my writings with my Pastor, Fr. Mark Peacock, Pastor of Saint Patrick’s Catholic Church in Parnell, MI, part of the Diocese of Grand Rapids, MI. During my early days of discernment, I also shared the idea of engaging our next gen Catholics with my cousin, Sister Rosemary Loomis, OP, Dominican Sisters of the Peace, in Columbus, OH, who encouraged me to share these early ideas with His Holiness, Pope Francis. After consulting with my Pastor and notifying my Bishop, the Most Reverend David J. Walkowiak, Diocese of Grand Rapids, MI, I did write a letter to Pope Francis, explaining the idea, asking for his feedback and blessing, and permission to contact the Papal Almoner, ArchBishop Konrad Krajewski, who handles all of His Holiness’s charitable endeavors. I received a wonderful personal letter from the Secretary of State, offering Pope Francis’s support, and permission to contact the Papal Almoner. On 12 June 2016, I flew to Rome and experienced a very special 20 minute meeting with ArchBishop Konrad Krajewski, who asked many good questions and was delighted to learn that this idea was being developed fully by laity volunteers. Feeling commissioned to keep going, over the course of several months, I completed several dozen focus groups of individuals, families, parishes and school leadership and students, sharing the early ideas for how we could better engage NextGen Catholics in our beautiful faith -especially those wired for love and service.

I am so humbled to introduce to you today, UPRISE: Our Catholic Generosity Commitment, the original idea, now, fully formed into a global, NexGen movement of love and generosity; making a commitment to keep Catholic causes ands experiences a priority in one’s generosity, caring for others through the framework of our 14 Works of Mercy! Check it out: CatholicUprise.com

UPRISE, is also a way to extend Pope Francis’s 2016 Extraordinary Jubilee year of Mercy to our next gen! The UPRISE generosity movement is catching enthusiastic visibility, interest and participation as a global movement thru young adults preference for communications, engaging primarily through social media! As volunteers, we have formed an advisory committee, we have named several Godly Counsel to keep his movement fully aligned to the official teachings and values of our Catholic church, targeting for participation young adults ages 14-25 years thru three primary channels: their families, their high schools and colleges, and their young ministry programs within parishes.

UPRISE: Our Catholic Generosity Commitment was “soft launched” on 20 October by Bishop Walkowiak at his Catholic Business Leaders Forum to a sell-out, 240 guests, who listened to a panel of young adults and their parents, principals and campus ministry leadership offer witness and testimony to the power of mobilizing young adults thru generosity and service. Guests learned why young adults have chosen to make the UPRISE commitment, what they plan to do to participate in the global movement, and how they intend to form ‘UPRISE clubs” in their schools and parishes using the framework of the 14 Works of Mercy, and then post on social media to share how on fire for their Catholic faith-in-action they are today, for the benefit of others in need.

UPRISE is busy this week, gearing up for #GivingTuesday on 28 November 2017, where as part of this now six year old global movement of giving, we will launch UPRISE to 98 countries! Our 2018 goal is to be invited to World Youth Day in Panama, January 2019, and include UPRISE and the works of mercy as formative experiences to prepare Pilgrims, too. Really cool, huh?

When you have a minute, check out the link to our global website, CatholicUprise.com which serves as the primary communications hub for our stories of impact, and for inviting young adults to join the movement. CathlicUprise.com is also the site with live links to a variety of social media, such as Facebook, Tiwtter, and Instgram, where it is intended for posts from UPRISE commitment makers of their works of mercy in action!

If you are interested in learning more, it would be my great honor to speak with you and answer any questions you may have about UPRISE: Our Catholic Generosity Commitment movement. I am a volunteer with a number of other volunteers trying to build the momentum of this global movement…won’t you join us?

Blessings and Happy #GivingTuesday!!!

Colleen Mitchell