Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Young Adult Track To Generate Spiritual Energy

Published May 12, 2005

A young adult track, “Revive!” for those 18 to 40 years old, single and married, will be held as part of the Eucharistic Congress at the Georgia International Convention Center in College Park on Friday evening, June 3. This year’s theme is “Explore the Mystery.”

Ann Blasick, director of YAM, the archdiocesan Young Adult Ministry, said, “This is our third Eucharistic Congress with a young adult track, and each year more and more young adults come from all over the archdiocese, the state and beyond because they’ve heard how great it is. The energy that’s generated by a thousand young adults in a room who are excited about their faith is amazing.”

She continued, “And I’m really personally looking forward to hearing Dr. (Jorge) Valdés and Father (Dave) Pivonka speak. Both come at the faith from different angles—Father Pivonka is this incredibly dynamic Franciscan friar who’s an especially gifted speaker, and Dr. Valdés has a powerful story complete with ‘drugs, sex and rock ‘n’ roll’ that has given him great appreciation and insight into the Catholic faith. He’s seen the world at its worst and its best, and he’s got a story to tell that you don’t want to miss.”

The speakers for the Young Adult Track include the following:

Dr. Jorge Valdés

Valdés is the former head of U.S. operations for the Medellin drug cartel, one of the largest organized crime webs in the world. Once responsible for 85 percent of the cocaine brought into the United States, Valdés has since re-committed his life to the Catholic faith, earned a Ph.D. in New Testament Scripture from Loyola University in Chicago, and founded Coming Clean Ministries (

Father Dave Pivonka, TOR

Father Pivonka is a Franciscan friar residing at Franciscan University of Steubenville, Ohio. He currently serves the university as vice president for mission effectiveness. When not working at the university, Father Pivonka travels around the country inviting young adults and teens into a dynamic personal relationship with Jesus Christ. He recently wrote “Rocked by God,” which tells powerful stories of teens who have come to Franciscan University Youth Conferences. He has also produced “There Is Freedom,” a six-CD set of his talks on how to experience greater freedom in one’s life. Father Pivonka lives to share the awesome truth of Christ’s love. Many have been moved by the way he applied God’s word to modern times.

Chris and Michelle Benzinger

Chris and Michelle Benzinger have been missionaries for the past several years with Trinity World Missions, serving first in Europe (the Netherlands and Austria) and then in Mexico. Authors of a 10-week Bible/character study designed for men and women to study together, they are currently writing a women’s bible study on the Eucharist. Recently the couple decided to make Covecrest LIFE TEEN Camp in Tiger, Ga., their home. Chris was named camp director, and Michelle will lead the way in the visioning and development of spiritual formation. The Benzingers are the parents of two young boys, Noah and Luke.

Music will be provided by “Revive” led by Jon Ferguson.

The program will begin at 7:30 p.m., but confession will be made available prior to and during the program. Food concessions will also be open during “Revive!” The event is free and no tickets are required. For more information visit