EAST SANDWICH — Corpus Christi Parish in East Sandwich recently launched two dynamic, new youth ministries: Fraternus, for boys in grades six-12, and Fidelis, for girls in grades six-12. Through weekly meetings and annual retreats, the programs are designed to help Catholic youth live virtuous lives dedicated to serving God and others. The ministries are part of a broader, national program, which began a decade ago in Pensacola, Fla., and has since expanded to more than 30 Fraternus chapters and 24 Fidelis chapters nationwide. Corpus Christi Parish is the first New England chapter. 

Father George Harrison, pastor of Corpus Christi Parish in East Sandwich prays with members of the parish’s new Fidelis ministry.

In separate ceremonies held recently, 34 young men and 23 adult male mentors committed to Fraternus, and 24 young girls and 24 adult female mentors committed to Fidelis. “We are ever grateful that our parish is thriving and continuing to grow,” said Father George Harrison, pastor of Corpus Christi Parish. “Along with this abundant growth we are seeking ways to enhance the lives of our youth. We want to impact the youth in their life-long journey by promoting truth, confidence and strong virtues in this difficult world we live in today.”

At the heart of the ministry are the weekly Fidelis and Fraternus (Frat) Nights, during which participants share a meal, take part in games and ice breakers, and view and discuss a movie clip chosen to highlight the virtue being studied. “Frat Nights are very fast paced. Fun, food and faith makes two hours go by very quickly,” Joe DellaMorte, commander of the new Fraternus chapter, explained. “We end the night with a specific challenge for all the men to pursue during the week.” We are fostering a brotherhood of all the men in the chapter with an eye towards building up virtue in our young men as a path to authentic manhood.”

Fidelis Nights are similarly structured — with a meal, activities, movie clip and discussion — towards the goals of building mentor/sister relationships and growing in virtue. “The women and girls participating in Fidelis are highly engaged, and they are eager to learn more about the virtues and serve the community. I think this is just the beginning of a beautiful sisterhood, and I believe this program will grow and thrive as we move forward in faith,” said Stacy Roisin, lead lady of Fidelis at Corpus Christi.

Fraternus meets in the Corpus Christi parish hall each Tuesday from 6:30-8:30 p.m., and Fidelis meets during the same time frame each Thursday. Young men and women (grades six-12) and adult mentors (all ages) are invited to come experience a Fidelis or Fraternus night, any time from October to June.

For more information on Fraternus or Fidelis, visit their respective websites: fraternus.net and fidelisonline.org. To inquire about the Corpus Christi chapters, contact the parish office at 508-888-0209.