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Young Adults - Prayer Paradigm

Young Adults - Prayer Paradigm

By Ben Rouleau, Young Adult Coordinator

Young Adults, those in their 20s and 30s, are a transient group by nature – they are in their prime years for job changes, moving cities and states, and starting relationships and families. Add a university and large employers like Epic to the mix, and the Young Adults Group experiences significant change from year to year. New grads arrive en masse starting in May, but throughout the year, folks who have been around a while move closer to family or start graduate programs across the country.

A key role the Young Adults Group plays is to ease the transition to life after school. A parish is different than a campus Newman Center, so that means encouraging participating in parish events and taking on liturgical roles while also creating environments for Young Adults to grow in faith and fellowship and form lifelong friendships. We host 3 women’s and 2 men’s small groups that meet weekly, a monthly social event (hike, game night, bonfire, etc.), monthly Adoration (Cor ad Cor), and other spiritual and service opportunities. These activities build community and provide opportunities for growth in all aspects of life.

An especially vibrant weekly activity is Friday Morning Fellowship. Each week, 10 to 20 Young Adults attend the 6:30 a.m. Mass together and then gather for baked goods and coffee (pictured above). An icebreaker question, such as “what’s your favorite dish to bring to a potluck,” gets the conversation going until it’s time to disperse for work.

Despite the inherent turnover, complete with sweet sorrow at partings, I have seen the Young Adults Group grow significantly over my 8+ years at SMG. I have also seen the spiritual fruit brought about by those who move away. Experiencing the rich liturgical environment and dynamic social scene at SMG creates a paradigm for what parish life can be. Every Young Adult leaving to take a job elsewhere or move back home carries with them a seed from their experience here – sharing faith in small groups, attending daily Mass, going to Adoration and Confession, fellowshipping with other young Catholics. With around 400 subscribers to our weekly email in a world where Millennials and Gen Z largely do not identify with religion and have not truly had the Gospel preached to them, the SMG Young Adults Group provides at least a taste of what is possible. Much work remains, but the prayer life for Young Adults at SMG, exemplified by Friday Morning Fellowship, provides a paradigm that is carried throughout the country with each person who moves away. Pray that the Holy Spirit brings about a 30, 60, or 100-fold harvest for each seed that falls into fertile soil.

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