January 15, 2015
MADISON One of the most exciting and challenging times in life is that milestone of young adulthood. College graduates begin their first career jobs. Some meet the love of their life. There are marriages and then the birth of a first child. Others simply find out who they are.
Because of these life moments, and realizing that a strong relationship with the Jesus Christ and his Church is essential to any young adult’s daily life, the St. Paul’s Young Adults at St. Paul Inside the Walls: The Diocesan Evangelization Center at Bayley-Ellard here is hosting its first young adult Mass with Bishop Serratelli at 5:30 p.m., Saturday, Jan. 17.
All young adults in the Paterson Diocese from the ages 21 to 39 are invited to attend the special gathering. Following the Mass, a young adult social with refreshments will take place. The evening will end at 9 p.m.
Monique Carron, who ministers to young adults at St. Paul’s, said, “We are so honored and excited to bring together all the young adults of the diocese with the bishop to bring in the New Year. This will be a great opportunity to worship together and spend time with the bishop. His presence shows how important young adult ministry is to him and to the Paterson Diocese.”
In addition to the Mass with the bishop, the young adult ministry at St. Paul’s hosts several events throughout the year including a Mass every Sunday at 11 a.m. at the center. On Wednesdays, it also hosts young adult nights beginning with 7 p.m. Mass. There is a different theme for each Wednesday, include trivia nights, men’s and women’s groups, fireside chats and pub nights. To stay connected, the ministry has a Facebook page listing all the events.
Trevor Jones, who also ministers to young adults at St. Paul’s, said, “When you come to any one of our gatherings whether it’s Mass, social or service, you walk away feeling inspired. You feel an active faith life is still relevant and it’s crucial to the development of our lives.”
In its six years of existence, St. Paul’s has hand more than 600 young adults come through the doors to participate in different activities. Currently about 100 young adults are active in the various offerings at St. Paul’s. During those six years, the members of the ministry have reached significant milestones in their own lives. There have been several marriages, children have been born and some members have answered God’s call to them to religious life — entering the seminary or a religious order.
“No matter what stage people are in in their lives, it’s important we show we care about them,” said Jones. “Whether they are here for a month or are still involved, we are happy to be with them on their next step in the journey of faith. Young adulthood is a really special time. It’s a time when most of us asked ourselves, ‘Where does God fit in my life?”
For Carron, who joined the group about four years ago and began to serve two years ago, the ministry has been life changing. “The first time I came to St. Paul’s I felt so inspired and free to deepen, explore and live out my faith. When you are among peers and friends your same age, it empowers you to grow in faith. The community at St. Paul’s is so special in that,” she said.
While many young adults are active at St. Paul’s, the ultimate goal is for them to be active in their local parishes. Allan Wright, academic dean at St. Paul’s, said, “Young adults are the future leaders and heart of the Church. We hope this place is a welcoming place for them to encounter the living faith. It is a great witness to older parishioners at their churches to see the presence of young adults or a young family. It is a sign of life that the Church is alive.”
[Information: (973) 377-1004.]