By Joyce Bibey MORGANTOWN—St. John University Parish and the Mountaineer Catholic Campus Ministry invite young adults from across the state to an event in Morgantown on the banks of the Monongahela River that aims to empower high school and college students. On Oct. 16, Mountaineer Catholic presents Encounter Love, featuring popular Catholic speakers Lisa Cotter and Father Joe Freedy. It will be a day to fuel the hearts and minds of young adults, as they are energized by two dynamic speakers, uplifted with music, empowered with spiritual reflection, and fed via a fabulous food truck, said Colleen Criste, campus minister for St. John University Parish at West Virginia University. Blending practical insights, sound theology, and a bit of humor, Cotter will address high schoolers, college students, and young adults about authentic friendships, dating, and marriage, Criste shared. Cotter is a strong Catholic mother of three, podcaster, and founder of Made to Magnify, a ministry to “help people become saints.” She and her husband, Kevin, have worked with FOCUS (Fellowship of Catholic University Students) ministry, a group of missionaries that evangelize college campuses; and co-authored “Dating Detox: 40 Days of Perfecting Love in an Imperfect World”. The book is the result of a summer the couple spent interviewing young adults who transitioned from what is often a toxic modern dating arena to understanding God’s plan and following it freely to find love. Her presentation in October will highlight how developing true, authentic friendships and relationships may be difficult, but with the right mindset you can build stronger relationships with more meaning knowing the keys to God’s grace and plan. Father Freedy has worn many hats in his career so far as a priest in the Diocese of Pittsburgh. He is the founder of Dry Bones Ministries, a group whose mission is to revitalize the faith of and build a future for Catholics in Pittsburgh. He is also the assistant director of Evangelization for his diocese and the chaplain for two high schools in Allegheny County. A native of Bethel Park, Pa., he earned a scholarship to play Division I football at the University of Buffalo, where he was the starting quarterback for three years. Throughout his college career he discerned a calling to the priesthood and entered St. Paul Seminary in Pittsburgh and the North American College in Rome, studying at the Gregorian University and John Paul II Institute. He was ordained in 2008. Prior to his current position he was a parish priest in Wexford and the vocation director for his diocese. The day will also feature the St. John’s Praise and Worship Band made up of WVU students. After lunch will be a transition into Eucharistic procession and adoration, “which is the authentic love of Jesus Christ among us,” Criste said. The event, held in the WVU Amphitheater at Hazel Ruby McQuain Park, 185 Garrett Street will begin at 10 a.m. and conclude at 3:30 p.m. The cost is $15 per person (lunch provided by Nature of Fire food truck is included). Sponsorship opportunities are also available to cover costs for students or groups wanting to attend the day, Criste said. Attendees can park at the Wharf District Parking Garage. Afterwards, event goers are invited to linger in Morgantown and go to Mass at St. John University Parish at 5 p.m. The church is in walking distance of the speaking venue. For tickets, sponsorship opportunities, and more information contact Criste in the office of campus ministry at (304) 296-8231, ext. 12, or e-mail her at: colleen.criste@mountaineer catholic. com.