Kevin Roerty (24) is the founder of SOCA. Kevin grew up in Fort Collins, CO as a Catholic going to public school. Early in high school he saw many of the grave temptations the secular world today presents, and almost lost the faith. He then had an inner conversion, finding the interior life and traditions of the Catholic Church to be the answer His soul thirsted for. Desiring to discern God’s call, he went to France to discern with a traditional religious order. Here he developed a love for the traditions of Catholic culture and liturgy, and learned the necessity of a regimented prayer life. Discerning out, he then spent time as a FOCUS missionary, evangelizing college students.
Kevin meditated upon his experiences in all of these circumstances and received an inspiration to do something he did not see being done is an articulated way, synthesizing the best of his experiences: youth outreach, interior prayer, personal formation, tradition. These experiences were further confirmed by the spiritual classic he read “The Soul of the Apostolate”, which emphasizes this exact approach: in-depth, one-on-one formation to make Catholic leaders who will evangelize the next generation.
Once a couple zealous, young priests in Denver got wind of this effort of evangelism through the interior life and tradition, they got ahold of Kevin, told him the largest Colorado campus (Auraria–42000 students) did not have missionaries, and invited him to Denver…and the adventure began.
80% of 18-24 year-old Catholics leave the faith. Our culture is saturated with immorality and modernist ideology. How will the next generation of Catholics survive? Dare we hope for them to thrive? We’ve noticed there are many welcoming and fun social groups and ministries that strive to combat this, but they often need additional depth of formation to bear long term fruits beyond momentary excitement. At SOCA, we provide this deep formation in a concentrated way through a personalized process of “relate and elevate”. Our full-time, youthful missionary-mentors on college campuses and in young adult communities relate through one-on-one friendships with the youth. Armed with SOCA’s resources, close in age, and available to meet in non-threatening situations, SOCA missionaries reach out in a way relatives, priests, and others often cannot. After relating, we then elevate with two layers of formation: 1) personal coaching with habits of virtue and prayer, and 2) instruction with a curriculum of traditions in the faith, morals, and life skills. Soul after soul, this method has proven golden in forming saintly leaders and culture influencers.
Apostleship has three pillars: instruction with the Catechism, habit-building with mental prayer, and enrichment in the traditions of Catholicism. The goal is to make every Catholic an apostle. SOCA’s Apostolate can be likened to a cell: there is the nucleus layer of core members in apostleship training, then a second layer of those in small groups, and then an outer layer of those coming to public events. SOCA aims to form every layer with the three pillars of apostleship content, but those in one-on-one apostleship formation receive more hands-on coaching and accountability. As a cell grows, so will SOCA, with different nuclei developing as more apostles are formed.