Steve Angrisano evangelizes


Lizzie Leu, News Writer

“To be holy means to start where we’re at right now, because we are all called to be saints,” Steve Angrisano said. Angrisano encouraged Xavier students to remember this message when he spoke at a school assembly on October 13. A musician, composer, and youth minister, Angrisano stresses the importance of holiness through his music.
Angrisano is a well-known youth leader, and has been featured at seven World Youth Days, four National Catholic Youth Conferences, and six Pro-Life March youth rallies. He has visited numerous parishes across the nation, including St. Pius and St. Ludmilla in Cedar Rapids.
“I knew who he was from various things, and was thrilled when I heard he was going to come to Cedar Rapids,” Campus Minister Mrs. Jody Esker said.
Campus Ministry was excited to host Angrisano and had been planning the event for a year.
“He had done things with St. Pius and St. Ludmilla’s, so we decided to invite him to come to Xavier,” Mrs. Esker said. Angrisano began his presentation with a competitive game of Simon Says and a boys vs. girls song to break the ice and capture his audience’s attention.
Angrisano’s talk took a more serious turn when he shared with Xavier his experience as a youth leader in Littleton, Colorado during the Columbine High School shooting of 1999. He lived in Littleton for 15 years where he worked as a youth minister at St. Frances Cabrini Parish. His church was within walking distance from Columbine, where 300 teenagers of the parish attended.
On April 20, 1999, two Columbine students shot and killed 12 students, a teacher, and themselves. Of the students who died, four of them were members Angrisano’s parish, and the parents of three of those students asked Angrisano to perform the music at their childrens’ funerals.
“The hardest part wasn’t the shooting itself, or playing at the funerals,” Angrisano said. “The hardest thing for me was planning for the funerals.”
Angrisano explained that trying to talk to such devastated people and pick out songs to play was the most gut-wrenching part.
Angrisano related his experience to Respect Life Week and encouraged students to respect life by loving and forgiving those who had wronged them. He finished his talk by singing and playing several songs, including “Lean On Me,” “Trading My Sorrows,” “Every Move I Make,” and “Go Make A Difference,” encouraging students to sing and dance along with him.