Blessed Pier Frassati

"'Verso l'alto' - strive always to search for that which is higher, to set off beyond ourselves, towards the heights of eternal life and a closer encounter with Christ."
Norwood House
About Norwood House
Catholic Social Teaching: Rights and Responsibilities

In 1991, Father Ryan packed up its Elliston Place history and memories and moved to a new campus.   Expansive and fresh, spacious and modern, the campus provided space for our growing student body and facilities that would carry the school into the next century.
Now, almost 30 years later, this “new” campus has continued to expand, with the addition of the Center for the Arts, the Neuhoff Library, the Jim Carell Alumni Athletic Complex and more, but all bearing a part of the Elliston Place legacy, both physically and spiritually.
The Norwood House reflects the new life in the Father Ryan community and the dynamic future of our Father Ryan family.
Head of House: Michelle Mast

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  • More about Michelle Mast

    Michelle Mast joined the Father Ryan community in 2012 as a U.S. History teacher and the Coordinator of Student Activities. In addition, Michelle serves as one of the faculty moderators of Relay for Life and the student committee, coordinates the Canned Food Drive, and assists with Model UN and Youth in Government.
    Ms. Mast is a graduate of Hendersonville High School and a member of Our Lady of the Lake Catholic Church. She studied at the University of Tennessee, earning a bachelor's degree in Political Science with minors in History and Secondary Education. She finished her time in Knoxville with a master's degree in teacher education, working hard as a student-teacher at West High School. Ms. Mast is an active parishioner at the Cathedral of the Incarnation.
    As a member of the Campus Ministry team, she helps coordinate Father Ryan’s annual trip to Washington, D.C. to attend the national March for Life and leads a group on a summer mission trip with Catholic Heart Work Camp (CHWC). Ms. Mast also works for CHWC as a Camp Director for several weeks each summer. She can be found assisting on most of the class retreats and capturing our students around campus and in the community as one of the main moderators of the Campus Ministry Instagram.
    When she’s not at school, Ms. Mast likes to spend time with family and friends, traveling to national parks, lounging by various bodies of water, and reading as much as possible. If you know Ms. Mast, you know she can often be found listening or watching one of her favorite teams, like the Chicago Cubs, Tennessee Volunteers, and Nashville Predators.
House Saint: Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

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  • More about Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati

    Feast Day: July 4
    Patron Saint of the Beatitudes, Young Adults, World Youth Day

    Blessed Pier Giorgio Frassati was born in Turin, Italy, on April 6, 1901, to a wealthy family. His father owned a political newspaper and his mother was an artist. Frassati had an early inclination to help others as a child. Although he was an average student, his peers knew him for his devotion to others and social action. He would lead a young life full of charity, prayer, and building community. He was involved in several Catholic youth groups and student groups. He was constantly reminding others to look beyond charity and put that work into action and reform as well. Frassati often lived by example by giving his allowance money to others that needed it more, like providing train fare for the poor.
    Frassati belonged to many organizations and remained an active member in each one. He was always willing to stand up for what he believed in, including fighting against early fascist governments in the 1920s. A member of the Third Order of Saint Dominic, Frassati also studied the teachings of St. Thomas Aquinas, St. Catherine of Siena, and St. Paul the Apostle. In 1918, he joined the Saint Vincent de Paul group and devoted his life to helping the poor. He began studying mining engineering in hopes of using this work “to serve Christ better among miners.” His father gave him a big monetary gift at graduation, and he donated the money to serve the poor.
    Frassati would continue living his life to serve others. He was a man of many talents including mountain-climbing and swimming. After a boating outing in 1925, Frassati began complaining of sharp pains in his back, and would later be diagnosed with polio. His condition worsened very quickly and he passed away on July 4, 1925. Frassati’s mother told many friends and family about his funeral. She was shocked to find thousands of people lining the streets to pay their respects. These were all the people Frassati had helped over the years.
    He was buried in the Frassati burial plot and later transferred to the Turin Cathedral in 1981. It was then that officials discovered his remains were incorrupt. He would later be beatified by Pope John Paul II in 1990. He called Frassati the “Man of the Eight Beatitudes" and invited young people to follow his example, saying that it is worth committing oneself for God. Many schools and youth organizations have been named after Frassati and he is considered the patron saint of young Catholics and World Youth Day.
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