Young Adults of St Francis

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When you hear or see the word “courtship” what’s the first thing that comes to mind? And when you hear or see the words “date” or “dating”?

Did you know that they are actually both one and the same thing? That’s right courtship is dating and dating is a form of courtship. If you were thinking that they were completely two different aspects to “seeing someone” or “getting to know someone” then no worries, because you aren’t alone in that belief. It’s just unfortunate that society has shed a dull light on the term “courtship.” But hopefully this gives you a new perspective and something to think about.

According to courtship means, “the act, period, or art of seeking the love of someone with the intent to marry, the wooing of one person by another.” Whereas, dating is simply defined as, “to go out socially.” If you ask me, no wonder dating can be perceived to some or used by some as a hobby; courtship sounds more romantic. Seems that one could be dating their whole lives and never find the contentment that couples have when they undergo a type of courtship. So where or when did we change-up the game? Well society thought that courtship was too chaste and outdated; finding fulfillment and gratification apparently wasn’t part of the agenda of courtship. Could they be more wrong! Dating was a more open sense of “trying to find someone who can fit and fill my needs.” Courtship has the implication of trying to fulfill ones needs but it’s not the main goal. Now I’m not saying you can’t use the term date or that you can’t say you’re going out on a date, I’m only trying to suggest to not fully live the life of what the term dating implies. Instead remember that every time you go out on a date you should look at it as a form of courtship. The main reason the human population goes on dates is to discover the potential in another individual, see where it leads, and if in the long run it will bear fruit. When I say “seeing where it leads” I mean having a healthy and respectable relationship during the courtship phase that could potentially lead to marriage and having a family. According to an article on, it was mentioned that courtship is where the couple in an exclusive relationship keeps marriage in mind as their end result. If when we go on a date and we don’t have the idea of trying to find our wife/husband, then it only leads one to wonder…why are you going on the date? Obviously you might not marry the first guy you go out on a date with but neither should you waste your time on dates that you see to have no future or a potential of a future.

Maybe the above is a little confusing, so allow me to put it in a different light. Gentlemen, when you ask a woman out on a date what is your reason? It should be to see where a potential friendship could lead to, perhaps that first date could in the future graduate to a meaningful relationship. Ladies, when you accept an offer of being asked out on a date what are your reasons of accepting? If the female population wants to be treated like a lady and respected while dating/on a date then treat the date like a courtship. He must woo you and as funny as it may sound, ladies are also responsible of wooing the men. That’s right, women are also responsible for wooing the men during the dating scene. How else will the potential friendship graduate to a relationship if the couple doesn’t invest in a little in-depth searching and wooing. It’s always saddening for me to hear when a female states “he didn’t respect me” or “he didn’t value me.” If the female keeps the ideal goal of what courtship suggests then ladies would be in more healthy relationships and will have less broken or abused hearts. There may be many of you who disagree and that’s perfectly ok! Everyone is entitled to their own opinion. However, I will remind our Catholic community, that the purpose of why we want to find our “other half” is to be in that sacramental union with God (marriage) and if God willing that union will create a loving family.

So good luck in the dating scene and remember, if you don’t want to use the term courtship then at least keep the courtship meaning and goal in mind while you’re dating! The results will be truly amazing…and also remember to be patient with one another because everything takes a little hard work to achieve the best results. As the saying goes “the best things in life aren’t free.”

Have a great day/night and if you’d like to read more than please check out this great article on, explaining more about the whole courtship and dating scene.

Yours truly,

A College Student


This year is 10th Anniversary of September 11th. Do you have loved ones/friends that were lost on September 11th? Then don’t be alone and attend mass with us, St. Francis Catholic Student Ministry, in memory of all from that day… We will be gathering at St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Church on Sunday September 11th, 2011 @ the 6pm mass. We will all meet in the Narthex (the front entrance of the church) before sitting together to attend mass.

Following the mass, SFCSM will dedicate a Rosary for all the families affected by this tragedy along with all the souls forgotten. We hope to see you there…

College Facilitator  – Christina Rodriguez

Good Morning everyone!

Hope you had a restful and peaceful night 🙂

I woke up this morning and while driving to work it suddenly hit me…how many people in the world take a moment out of the morning to just thank God for providing you with another day of life? You don’t have to say a long prayer, for those of you who say you have a busy and fast pace day, but just a simple “Thank you God for letting me wake up to another day” would be better than nothing. Even the Lord likes a little common courtesy now and again.

So my question to you is, are there any routines or ways in which you give thanks to God throughout your day? Even if small, remember something is always better than nothing. I know I wake up (and can honestly admit to forgetting to at least say a morning prayer right after waking up) get ready for work and head out, but as soon as I leave my home I pray a Spanish prayer (that my grandfather taught me) for those who are driving. It’s a beautiful prayer, allowing you to reflect how you drive as your driving…then I blast on my stereo and personally at ease that I’ve officially at that moment started my day. 🙂

With that said I would like to share two songs with you to start off your day…hope you enjoy!

Yours truly,

A College Student

We know that:

Catholics believe that truth is found in the Bible, as interpreted by the church, but also found in church tradition. Catholics believe forgiveness of sin is achieved through church ritual, with the assistance of a priest in confession. Catholics believe that the Eucharist is Christ’s sacrifice; Christ’s body and blood physically present and consumed by believers (“transubstantiation”). Catholics believe in praying to God and also praying to Mary or a saint to intercede on their behalf. Catholics believe the sacraments are a means of grace. Much emphasis is placed on the saints in the Catholic religion due to the fact that they are like us; either bearing daily crosses (struggles against sins and in doing good) or in personal struggles to live a good Christian/Catholic life.

But the next time someone asks you to “tell me a little bit about the Catholic faith” just simply say:

“The Saints are our counselor’s, the Liturgy (Word of God) are our SparkNotes, the Sacraments are bonus points, understanding/receiving the Eucharist is like your continual Midterm, and Judgement Day is your Final Exam.”

Dating Tips from a Waitress

I was a waitress on and off for a few years, and it gave me a surprising amount of insight about dating and relationships. It’s one of the benefits of observing people as well as being able to converse with them. I also overheard quite a few conversations, some of which certainly caught me off guard. Being a waitress is typically not an easy job, but you meet a lot of people, and after awhile, you’re able to point things out about them from across the room that may seem less obvious to those around them. Whether I was a counter waitress or waiting on tables, I learned quickly that you can learn quite a bit about dating and relationships just by listening and observing.

Don’t monopolize the conversation

I can’t tell you how many times I watched two people on a date where one person was monopolizing the conversation and the other could barely say a single word. I would see the silent person’s face go from interested to bored to irritated and the other person didn’t seem to have a clue. When you’re conversing with your date, ask questions and listen well. You’re also there to enjoy the food, so don’t rush to fill every bit of silence with chatter — especially when you’re chewing at the same time. Speaking of which, talking with your mouth full is not attractive.

Little surprises will get you major points

One night, a woman walked off to the restroom and her date frantically waved me over and asked if he could quickly have two slices of cake. As I placed them on the table, he apologized for rushing me and told me he wanted to surprise his date because it was her favorite cake and he wanted to show her he remembered that she told him about it weeks before. She had a look of confusion and surprise as she sat down, and he presumably told her what he told me, because her face lit up and she had a big smile on her face. When you take the initiative to surprise someone you care about, it can completely make their day and earn you some major points. Also, listening well is going to be a major part of having a good relationship.

Beware of the cell phone

There is a good chance that your partner, at one point or another, searched through your phone when you weren’t looking and checked your texts or missed calls. I’ve seen more than enough people grab their date’s phone when the person got up from the table to use the restroom. I’ve also seen plenty of arguments over what was found. Several times, the person even had permission to use the phone for one reason or another. There’s a few things to learn from this situation; lock your phone and don’t do anything that can be considered scandalous with anyone other than the person you’re dating and, if you do, don’t leave the information on your phone, especially if you give your partner permission to use it. Also, whether or not you have permission to use someone’s phone, it doesn’t mean you’re allowed to snoop.

There’s no age limit for a new relationship

There was an older couple I was waiting on once and they looked so in love with each other it was amazing. When I put down their drinks, the older gentleman looked at me with a smile and said about his date “Isn’t she beautiful? It’s our two year anniversary.” Another waitress told me the couple is in their early 70’s. Despite what some may think, they’re a true testament that there’s no age limit for finding a new love.

Being nice to waitstaff can make or break your date

As any waitress could tell you, not every customer is going to be nice. When you’re on a date and you’re rude to your waitress, there’s a good chance your date is not going to be happy. A guy was once so rude to me I thought his date was going to throw her plate at him. He didn’t ask nicely for anything, he only demanded. He also threw his gum into a cloth napkin, handed it to me with the gum stuck on top of it, and told me to hurry and bring him a new one; the rude behavior continued for the rest of the time he was there. On the way out, his date apologized for his behavior and told me she’s never seeing him again. The nicer you are to those around you and not just to your date, the more it’s going to put you in a good light.

The best dates were always when each person had general respect for each other. They listened to their date, asked questions, and genuinely just wanted to put a smile on the person’s face. It’s easy to be nervous when you’re out with someone you like, but the next time you’re on a date, keep in mind that the best thing you can do is be yourself, be respectful, show interest and everything else will fall into place.

Due to the likelihood of strong storms and rain, we have been forced to cancel the event.

The “Relay for Life” has been rescheduled to Saturday, June 4th from 6pm-Midnight at Lone Star High School. So mark your calendars if you’d like to participate and that also means that those of you who wanted to but were unable to, NOW YOU CAN! 🙂

Yours truly,

A College Student

Man + Woman = Friendship?

If men are from Mars and women are from Venus, it may explain at least one of their shared beliefs: Men and women can’t be real friends. Blame the sexual tension that almost inevitably exists between any red-blooded, heterosexual man and woman. Point to the jealousy that plagues many rational people when a significant other befriends someone of the opposite sex. Boil it down to the inherent differences between the sexes. It just can’t be done. Right?

Wrong, relationship experts have said. “The belief that men and women can’t be friends comes from another era in which women were at home and men were in the workplace, and the only way they could get together was for romance,” explained Linda Sapadin, a psychologist in Valley Stream, New York. “Now they work together and share sports interests and socialize together.” This cultural shift has encouraged psychologists, sociologists and communications experts to put forth a new message: Though it may be tricky, men and women can successfully become close friends. What’s more, there are good reasons for them to do so.

Society has long singled out romance as the prototypical male-female relationship because it spawns babies and keeps the life cycle going; cross-sex friendship, as researchers call it, has been either ignored or trivialized. We have rules for how to act in romantic relationships (flirt, date, get married, have kids) and even same-sex friendships (boys relate by doing activities together, girls by talking and sharing). But there are so few platonic male-female friendships on display that we’re at a loss to even define these relationships.

Part of this confusion stems from the media. A certain classic film starring Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal convinced a nation of moviegoers that sex always comes between men and women, making true friendship impossible. “When Harry Met Sally set the potential for male-female friendship back about 25 years,” said Michael Monsour, assistant professor of communications at the University of Colorado at Denver and author of Women and Men as Friends. Television hasn’t helped either. “Almost every time you see a male-female friendship, it winds up turning into romance,” Monsour noted. Think Sam and Diane or Chandler and Monica. These cultural images are hard to overcome, he said. It’s no wonder we expect that men and women are always on the road to romance.

But that’s only one of the major barriers. Don O’Meara, Ph.D., at the University of Cincinnati-Raymond Walters College, published a landmark study in the journal Sex Roles on the top impediments to cross-sex friendship. “I started my research because one of my best friends is a woman,” said O’Meara. “She said, ‘Do you think anyone else has the incredible friendship we do?'” He decided to find out, and after reviewing the scant existing research, O’Meara identified the following challenges to male-female friendship: defining it, dealing with sexual attraction, seeing each other as equals, facing people’s responses to the relationship and meeting in the first place.


Defining the Relationship: Friends or Lovers?

Platonic love does exist, O’Meara asserted, and a study of 20 pairs of friends published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships lends credence to the notion. In it, Heidi Reeder, at Boise State University, confirmed that “friendship attraction” or a connection devoid of lust, is a bona fide type of bond that people experience. Distinguishing between romantic, sexual and friendly feelings, however, can be exceedingly difficult.

“People don’t know what feelings are appropriate toward the opposite sex, unless they’re what our culture defines as appropriate,” said O’Meara. “You know you love someone and enjoy them as a person, but not enough to date or marry them. What does this mean?”


Overcoming Attraction: Let’s Talk About Sex

The reality that sexual attraction could suddenly enter the equation of a cross-sex friendship uninvited is always lurking in the background. A simple, platonic hug could instantaneously take on a more amorous meaning. “You’re trying to do a friend-friend thing,” said O’Meara, “but the male-female parts of you get in the way.” Unwelcome or not, the attraction is difficult to ignore.

In a study published in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships, Sapadin asked more than 150 professional men and women what they liked and disliked about their cross-sex friendships. Topping women’s list of dislikes: sexual tension. Men, on the other hand, more frequently replied that sexual attraction was a prime reason for initiating a friendship, and that it could even deepen a friendship. Either way, 62 percent of all subjects reported that sexual tension was present in their cross-sex friendships.


Establishing Equality: The Power Play

Friendship should be a pairing of equals. But, O’Meara said, “in a culture where men have always been more equal than women, male dominance, prestige and power is baggage that both men and women are likely to bring to a relationship.” Women are at risk of subconsciously adopting a more submissive role in cross-sex friendships, he said, although that is slowly changing as society begins to treat both genders more equally.


The Public Eye: Dealing with Doubters

Society may not be entirely ready for friendships between men and women that have no sexual subtext. People with close friends of the opposite sex are often barraged with nudging, winking and skepticism: “Are you really just friends?” This is especially true, said O’Meara, of older adults, who grew up when men and women were off-limits to each other until marriage.


The Meeting Place: Finding Friends

As the workplace and other social arenas become increasingly open to women, the sexes are mingling more and more. Still, men and women continue to have surprisingly few opportunities to interact.

“Boys and girls form their own gender groups in elementary school,” explained Monsour. “They learn their own ways of relating to each other. So when they do get together, inspired by puberty, they see each other as dating partners because they’ve never really known each other as friends.” A surprisingly major factor in this phenomenon is the kids’ own innate interest in children who act like they do. Called “voluntary gender segregation,” it continues into adulthood. “You see it at cocktail parties,” said Monsour. “Men go off to one corner, and women go to another.”

These obstacles may seem numerous and formidable, but male-female friendship is becoming not only a possibility but also a necessity. If men and women are to work, play and coexist in modern society, researchers believe men and women must learn to understand and communicate with each other. To that end, social scientists like Sapadin, Monsour and O’Meara have studied how to do just that. The field of research is still in its infancy, but they are now beginning to understand some basic truths about male-female friendship:


Friendship Is Not Equal Opportunity

Not until high school does puberty really draw boys and girls together, which then continues into college. But as people develop serious romantic relationships or get married, making and maintaining cross-sex friendships becomes harder. “Even the most secure people in a strong marriage probably don’t want a spouse to be establishing a new friendship, especially with someone who’s very attractive,” said Monsour.

The number of cross-sex friendships continues to decline with age—not surprising, because most older adults grew up in an age where consorting with the opposite sex outside of wedlock was taboo. According to Rosemary Blieszner, at Virginia Tech and author of Adult Friendship, elderly people rarely form new friendships with members of the opposite sex. Her research shows that only about 2 percent of the friendships elderly women have are with men.


Men Benefit More from Cross-Sex Friendship

There are proven—and apparent—distinct differences between female friendship and male friendship. Women spend the majority of their time together discussing their thoughts and feelings, while men tend to be far more group-oriented. Males gather to play sports or travel or talk stock quotes; rarely do they share feelings or personal reflections. This may explain why they seem to get far more out of cross-sex friendship than their female counterparts.

In Sapadin’s study, men rated cross-sex friendships as being much higher in overall quality, enjoyment and nurturance than their same-sex friendships. What they reported liking most was talking and relating to women—something they can’t do with their buddies. Meanwhile, women rated their same-sex friendships higher on all these counts. They expect more emotional rewards from friendship than men do, explained Sapadin, so they’re easily disappointed when they don’t receive them. “Women confide in women,” noted Blieszner. “Men confide in women.”


…But Women Benefit, Too

All that sharing and discussing in female-female friendship can become exhausting, as any woman who’s stayed up all night comforting a brokenhearted girlfriend can attest. With men, women can joke and banter without any emotional baggage. “Friendships with men are lighter, more fun,” said Sapadin. “Men aren’t so sensitive about things.” Some women in her study also liked the protective, familial and casual warmth they got from men, viewing them as surrogate big brothers. What they liked most of all, however, was getting some insight into what guys really think.


Cross-Sex Friendships Are Emotionally Rewarding

Although women dig men’s lighthearted attitude, most male-female friendships resemble women’s emotionally involving friendships more than they do men’s activity-oriented relationships, according to Kathy Werking, at Eastern Kentucky University and author of We’re Just Good Friends. Her work has shown that the number one thing male and female friends do together is talk one-on-one. Other activities they prefer—like dining out and going for drives—simply facilitate that communication. In fact, Werking found, close male-female friends are extremely emotionally supportive if they continuously examine their feelings, opinions and ideas. “Males appreciate this because it tends not to be a part of their same-sex friendships,” she said. “Females appreciate garnering the male perspective.”


It’s Not All About Sex

“In reality, sex isn’t always on the agenda,” said Werking. “That could be due to sexual orientation, lack of physical attraction or involvement in another romantic relationship.” After all, even friends who are attracted to each other may also recognize that qualities they tolerate in a friendship wouldn’t necessarily work in a serious romantic relationship. And after years of considering someone as a friend, it often becomes difficult to see a cross-sex pal as a romantic possibility.

Of pairs that do face the question of lust, those that decide early on to bypass an uncertain romantic relationship are more likely to have an enduring friendship, says Werking. One study by Walid Afifi, of Penn State University, showed that of more than 300 college students surveyed, 67 percent reported having had sex with a friend. Interestingly, 56 percent of those subjects did not transition the friendship into a romantic relationship, suggesting that they preferred friendship over sex.


Male-Female Friendships Are Political

Men and women have increasingly similar rights, opportunities and interests, which can make cross-sex friendship very political, noted Werking. “It upsets the agreed-upon social order,” she explains. “Women and men engage in an equal relationship, or they aren’t friends.” For one thing, new generations of kids grow up believing that boys can play with dolls and girls can take kickboxing, and they’re crossing paths more frequently as a result.

Men and women are also becoming more androgynous as their societal roles become more similar. “Men are more willing to have feminine characteristics, and women are a lot more willing to admit to traditionally masculine characteristics, like assertiveness,” said Monsour. His dissertation showed that women and men categorized as androgynous had twice the number of cross-sex friends.

Whatever the challenges of male-female friendship, researchers agree that to succeed as friends, both genders have to openly and honestly negotiate exactly what their relationship will mean—whether sexual attraction is a factor and how they’ll deal with it—and establish boundaries. In Afifi’s and Reeder’s studies, the friendships that survived—and even thrived—after sex or attraction came into play were those in which the friends extensively discussed the meaning of the sexual activity and felt confident and positive about each other’s feelings. Once they got past that, they were home free.

“If sex is part of the dynamic, addressing it explicitly is the best strategy” for making sure the friendship survives, said Werking. “The issue will fester if friends try to ignore it.” So in the end, male-female friendship does have something in common with romantic relationships: To work, communication is key.

Researchers tell us that men and women can be friends. But do we really believe them? A survey of more than 1,450 members of the dating site revealed that we’re an optimistic bunch:

  1. Do you believe men and women can be platonic friends?Yes: 83%

    No: 11%

    Unsure: 6%

  2. Have you had a platonic friendship that crossed the line and became romantic or sexual?Yes: 62%

    No: 36%

    Unsure: 2%

  3. Who is more likely to misinterpret the intimacy of friendship for sexual desire?Men: 64%

    Women: 25%

    Unsure: 11%

  4. Is it possible to fall in love with someone who first enters your life as a friend?Yes: 94%

    No: 4%

    Unsure: 2%

  5. Do you hope that when you do fall in love, your partner will have started out as your friend?Yes: 71%

    No: 9%

    Unsure: 20%

  6. Who is better at keeping sex out of a platonic relationship?Men: 13%

    Women: 67%

    Unsure: 20%

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