Earlier this year, in February of 2017, my fiancé Madeleine Vella and I launched Fire Up Ministries. Fire Up is a ministry response to St John Paul II’s call for a New Evangelisation. Our hope is to get every Catholic ‘fired up’ for their faith, be inspired to discover their call to sanctity, live a life of sexual virtue, and be empowered to know, share and defend their Catholic faith.
Madeleine and I have been very active in youth ministry for the past few years, but have always had a passionate focus on the virtue of chastity, pure dating and the Theology of the Body; a bold, biblical vision of human sexuality and our creation as male and female.
I (Simon) will never forget my World Youth Day experience in Sydney, 2008. I remember hearing about an incredible speaker named Jason Evert, who was a must see! I remember sitting on a cold concrete floor in a massive auditorium, in awe of a concept Jason told me about (along with thousands of others on the same floor), that I could begin loving my future spouse before I even met her! That night sparked something in me, and I began to think about the reality that my future wife exists, and that the decisions I make affect the husband and father I would be for her! The next night I went to hear another speaker named Christopher West, who would talk about God’s plan for sex and marriage. I remember being in tears at the end of his presentation that night, unable to explain why! I know now that my heart was totally pierced by beauty, and I didn’t know how to contain it, understand it or explain it. I was so amazed, I went back to hear Christopher again the following night.
I am extremely grateful that I can now call Jason Evert, Founder of the Chastity Project and Christopher West, Founder of the Cor Project friends and partners in evangelisation. These men have radically changed my life, and have been a tremendous source of inspiration and guidance for me not only as a chastity speaker, but more importantly as a young Christian man, learning to love Madeleine as best as I possibly can! We are proud that Fire Up Ministries are partners with both the Chastity Project and the Cor Project, as we distribute their resources everywhere we travel and speak.
I am also extremely grateful for the guidance and support of Charbel Raish, Founding Director of Parousia Media. I spent the last 4 years working for Parousia Media, and I can honestly say I have never met a Catholic in evangelisation, who has a greater spirit of service and willingness to partner with everyone as Charbel has. After several years working with Charbel, it was his wisdom that like me, heard the Holy Spirit calling Madeleine and I to establish a speaking ministry in partnership with Parousia Media, which would allow us to speak full time on the virtue of chastity and spread the message of the Theology of the Body. I am extremely grateful for Charbel’s friendship and spiritual fatherhood. It was actually Charbel that first thought of the name ‘Fire Up’ – as this was often what I would say before and after a brilliant Parousia Media talk or tour! I owe the flame in my heart for evangelisation to Charbel and his ministry at Parousia Media!
The Fire Up scripture verse are Jesus’ words in Luke 12:49, where he says, “I came to set the world on fire, and how I wish it were already ablaze!” The Patron Saint of Fire Up Ministries is St Catherine of Siena, who said, “If you are who you should be, you will set the whole world ablaze!” This is the mission of Fire Up Ministries, to set hearts ablaze with love for the virtue of chastity and to inspire young people to live it out in their relationships!
Madeleine and I have given hundreds of presentations to over 10,000 people, and have distributed hundreds of free resources to students and young adults. We have recently set up a Facebook page, Instagram and Twitter account, so please stay connected, we need your prayers and support for this ministry to transform lives! I would like to thank a dear friend, Ian Mejia for generously donating his time to build us a website so that this ministry can spread and expand. Already we have experienced the generosity and support of so many family and friends who want to help in various ways, and using their talents to become partners in this mission!
Please keep our work in your prayers, we rely heavily on your support to keep this ministry going! Fire Up!