Reflections From Our Partner Parishes: Where Did You See God? - May 2023

Cassie Schutzer
Monday, May 15, 2023

Leaders from our ten partner parishes were asked to tell us about a ministry moment, an encounter with a young adult, or a place they experienced God this month. Here are their testimonies:

“God has been with me through struggle and has opened doors for me that I did not know needed opened!”

“Ministry moments with young adults are all around, and we need to be there for them in big and small life moments, and to do that, we need to be in relationship with them. Some ministry moments are obvious, and some are not. This past month, we have accompanied a young adult (who just started inquiring about becoming Catholic and whose mother died tragically the next day) by going to the funeral and continuing to meet with her to discuss both her interest in becoming Catholic and her grief and how the riches of our faith can help her; helped a young married couple understand the need for an annulment and convalidation while helping the husband become Catholic; gathered newlywed couples to meet each other; started helping a young woman who is exploring whether or not she believes in and can have a relationship with God; spoke with a young man who wants to become Catholic but keeps getting cold feet (his words); counseled two other young adults on two different kinds of relationship; spoke with a young man about his questions concerning marriage and the marriage preparation process; and talked with a young adult who is new to our parish to help him use his talents in parish ministry and meet other young adults. At least six of the young adults above are not Catholic.”

“I have seen God at work through the power of community. Seeing people become genuine friends with each other can make such a difference in people’s lives.”

“At a wedding, many of our young adult parishioners were present. I preached as I normally do and several of the young people appreciated the fact that I spoke not only to the bride and groom, but to the whole assembly as well. The integration of our young people into the life of the parish is happening, even if we don’t know exactly how that is working!”

“We had a visiting priest recently and when speaking to him after he celebrated Mass with our congregation, he was so shocked and surprised at the young adult population actively participating at Mass. It was incredible to have an outside perspective seeing what we believe to be true… our small steps toward full young adult integration in parish life is working.”

“We continue to see the Holy Spirit at work in our new Bible study on Sunday mornings. This group meets before Mass to look over the readings and break them open. They then attend Mass together and afterward go to lunch.”

“Mine comes from a personal experience of someone I love with many struggles in their life. How I had the opportunity to help them, which meant I had to abandon plans to attend a ministry event. I struggled because of the importance of my participation in the event but also knowing that God was calling me to help this individual. That brief moment of extending help could dramatically affect the individual’s situation. It was not a moment for verbal evangelization; it was a moment to lead with charity and living out the Gospel of Jesus Christ!”

“One of the Young Adults that we have been discipling reached out when she was having some struggles to ask for prayer and to talk. She is not one who generally shares, and I was really proud of her for leaning into community. She talked about how she has been inspired to come back to the Church and grow in her faith life the past few months. Praise God!”

“Paschal-tide brings with it some of my favorite celebrations of the church year: Ordination season, First Communions…the whole church like the world is brimming with new life. I love watching the joy our first communicants experience as they receive our Lord for the first time. And I love watching as close friends give their life to the Lord and lay prostrate during the Litany of the Saints. The Church grows in grace and in the midst of graduations and parties and everything in between it is so rewarding to simply look at the joy in the faces of those receiving Sacraments for the first time and simply join them in a prayer of gratitude to God for the graces He bestows.”

“April brought many unifying, spiritual experiences for our young adults. The Hispanic group worked for months practicing for the Via Crucis (Way of the Cross Procession). It was an astounding experience to watch their work come to fruition on Good Friday with one of our own, Luis, playing Jesus. He was ‘beaten,’ mocked, and raised up on the cross. Truly awe-inspiring.”