All posts tagged: young adults

Nourishing the Imaginations of the Young Church

In seeking to capacitate young people for mature lives of faith, Notre Dame Vision offers an opportunity for young people and the adults who minister to them to encounter the fullness of Jesus Christ revealed in the Scriptures, the sacramental life, and in communion with the Body of Christ—the Church. Keynote speakers, small group discussions, prayer experiences, and personal reflection cultivate a vision of Jesus Christ, the Word made flesh, who captivates their imaginations and calls them to respond with the witness of their lives. In the opening session of the week the high school students and adults who serve them gather together to hear Jesus, the Word, ask us: “Are you listening?” In the high school Vision program, the high school students and their college-age Mentors-in-Faith build communities focused on listening to the Word of God, to each other, and to ourselves. Meanwhile, the adult campus and youth ministers form community that fosters a disposition of receptivity to the Word, attentiveness to the workings of grace in our lives, and commitment to a renewal …

Embracing Parish Life: Step 4—Getting Involved

Editors’ Note: This is the final article in a series that seeks to make parish life more accessible to Catholic young adults. To learn more, see: Embracing Parish Life: Step 1—Choosing a Parish, Embracing Parish Life: Step 2—Registering at a Parish, and Embracing Parish Life: Step 3—Tithing. In thinking about writing this series for young adults on embracing parish life, I began by informally surveying young adult Catholics in my social networks. The 85 people who responded to my Google survey represent an atypical sampling of Millennials (my social networks are exceptionally Catholic-y): 80% attend Mass at least weekly, 80% are registered at their parishes, and 83.5% donate to their parishes at least occasionally. And, yet, only 55.3% of these respondents can definitively say that they feel like they are part of their parish communities. We go to Mass, we’re registered, we donate, but we don’t feel like we belong. What are we missing? In reviewing my [not particularly scientific] data, I found it interesting to look at the differences between those who are involved in their …

Embracing Parish Life: Step 2—Registering at a Parish

Editors’ Note: This is the second article in a series that seeks to make parish life more accessible to Catholic young adults. To learn more, see Embracing Parish Life: Step 1—Choosing a Parish. Throughout my 20s and into my early 30s there have been some “defining moments” that have made me feel like I’m slowly but surely reaching adulthood. Getting my car’s oil changed, purchasing and cooking a Thanksgiving turkey, and planting tulip bulbs and various other flowers in my yard are just a few of those moments. Registering at my parish is another. I found that something about registering at a parish and receiving my offertory envelopes in the mail each month made me feel more grown up. Maybe my “cradle Catholic” upbringing has something to do with it. Regardless, registering at a parish is an important step for any Catholic young adult. But, you might be asking yourself, I can go to Mass at any parish without registering, so what’s the difference? Why register? For starters, registering is helpful for the parish. Every …

Embracing Parish Life: Step 1—Choosing a Parish

Transitioning from a worshipping community at a college or university to a worshipping community at a “regular” parish can be challenging, both for recent graduates and for those of us who have been out of school for several years. This series seeks to make parish life more accessible to Catholic young adults, because belonging to a diverse community of believers and learning to be engaged in the care of that community are incredible opportunities to encounter God’s love and grace. Choosing a parish can be tricky. In the last year, our parish has experienced a few clergy transitions, which have, as you might imagine, affected the “feel” of the parish. Now, my husband and I are deciding whether to stick it out and reinvest in our current parish or to take a look at some other parishes in our area that are closer to our home. Like many new college graduates and transitioning young adults, we’re in the process of choosing a parish. Here are four questions we’re considering as we decide which parish to …

Celebrating the Easter Season, Part 5: Young Adults

Over the past couple of years, I’ve struggled with the transition from Lent to Easter.  I think it’s because I spend more time thinking about living into Lent than the season of Easter.  After all, Easter’s not a celebration that lasts just for a day–but fifty. But the day itself is pretty cool. The smells, the bells..the weather…if I’m lucky.  It feels like a fresh start.  But a few weeks into the season, I’ve already found myself returning to ‘normal.’ At 26, my normal is filled with more bad habits than I would like to admit.  I’m busy; I overcommit; I use technology more than I should. But I trust Easter’s message, that old ways are dead and new life reigns.  This can’t just be an intellectual exercise, but something that is lived.  Here’s three ideas about how to do it. Cultivate practices of gratitude During Easter, we are able to see Jesus for who he really is–the one who has redeemed humanity.  Under the light of his truth, we are invited to celebrate and …

Advent and Discernment

The Vocation of Discernment It strikes me how frequently opportunities for discernment become moments of crisis in life. As an undergraduate in my senior year, the impending future after graduation is a popular topic of discussion amongst my friends and classmates. The various dimensions of how life will look after graduation have been coming together like the pieces of a puzzle for the past four years. Yet for many seniors, a few pieces of that puzzle have yet to be found—the image of the future is incomplete. When we realize that we cannot gaze at our future selves with clarity, a sense of urgency and anxiety can set in. This often seems like the appropriate time to employ a spirit of discernment by asking God what he wants us to do with our lives and how we can proceed forward. The process of discernment involves not only listening for the words of Jesus, “Come, follow me” (Mt 1:7; Mk 4:19), but also preparing to go where he beckons. Disposing ourselves to hearing these words often …

Autobiography of a Small Haven

I was born on Day 3 of the universe. (I don’t have a birth certificate but you can check Genesis 1:1-2:3 to verify). I watched as God lovingly drew all of my parts together: a crystalline lake, a cluster of trees, some lovely assorted pebbles, and my favorite part, a soft patch of cushy soil right in the center. That was my favorite part because I knew that if a human one day happened upon me, they could sit on my soil patch, be enclosed by my trees, and look out onto the lake. I was so excited when God whispered to me that one day, one of his loves would love him right in me. He told me that I would be a haven for someone, and his beauty made me beautiful. (I would tell you that I am the best, most perfectly picturesque spot on the whole lake, too, but his humility made me humble). 4.54 billion years into my existence (not that I was counting or anything), humans were a-bustling about my …