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 Institute for Ministry & Evangelization, 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 Neuhoff Institute in 2008. Moving from classroom
to boardroom, she quickly learned how important it was to focus on the ministry of
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
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.