How to Let Go and Found a Ministry

Catholic Coffeehouse: How to Let Go and Found a Ministry

Date published: July 11, 2016

For four years Yong Oh, MTS ‘08, felt the call to found a Catholic coffeehouse. For four years, she put it off.

“Yet, the Lord was patient and waited until I was ready,” said Oh. Inspired in part by her education at the Neuhoff School of Ministry, Oh decided to found this unique ministry as a way to meet and minister to the faithful in a familiar setting: a coffee shop.

Now, the Shepherd’s Cafe is in its seventh year providing a coffeehouse gathering place for young Catholics in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex. Once a month, people gather for adoration, evening prayer and confession before enjoying each other’s company, coffee and live music from Catholic artists.

Oh, who works as a senior analyst and project manager at Southwest Airlines, completed her Master of Theological Studies at the School of Ministry in 2008. Moving from classroom to boardroom, she quickly learned how important it was to focus on the ministry of Christ.

Similar to the ups-and-downs of the corporate world, the coffeehouse ministry also saw its own challenges. “At some point, we focused on the social and concert aspect of the ministry versus the importance of Christ. When we did this, our attendance dropped and the ministry was not growing or bearing fruit,” said Oh. “When we reverted back to its initial focus... the ministry took off.”

The Shepherd’s Cafe is held every month, typically on fourth Saturdays, at Mary Immaculate Catholic Church. In the future, The Shepherd Cafe hopes to exist in a stand alone coffee house near a church and aims to provide a variety of Christian products, promote vocations, provide counseling and spiritual direction and promote and provide live Catholic entertainment.

After taking a break since May 2015, the Shepherd’s Cafe is returning this August. Their first event back will feature half a dozen Franciscan Friars of the Renewal priests and brothers joining the celebration. Brother Isaiah, CFR, recently released his first CD, “Broomstick,” and will be performing with other Friars at this event on Saturday, August 27.

The Shepherd’s Cafe also has several other exciting events lined up for the coming autumn. In September they will screen the premier of “Outcasts,” a new documentary from the award winning film production company Grassroots Films. This documentary, for mature audiences, gives a look into the lives of the world’s outcasts and those who have become outcasts to share in their lives: the Franciscan Friars of the Renewal.

October and November feature two different singer-songwriter acts: Nick Fabian and Francis Cabildo, respectively. With all this and more coming up for the rest of the year, the ministry of this Catholic coffeehouse is alive and well, helping to bring others to Christ through music, coffee and more.

Learn more at theshepherdscafe.com.

Originally published in Tower Magazine, Summer 2014.

Updated, Summer 2016.

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