MADISON — For many years, the Catholic Church on campus at the University of Wisconsin-Madison has drawn a very large crowd of young adults for a night of catechesis, prayer, and community on Thursday nights.
Typically this gathering — Alpha Omega — meant for collegiate undergrads far outnumbers the smaller gathering — Mustard Seed — held at St. Paul’s for graduate students and young professionals.
While the tides have not entirely changed in attendance, this past Thursday night, Sept. 8, at Mustard Seed’s second gathering this fall, over 60 of these young adults from the campus community came together, making the gathering seem to appear in size more like the average Alpha Omega.
St. Paul’s intern Nicholas Stabo reported that after this large group had gathered they had to make a change in the meeting location, for the first time in St. Paul’s history. Stabo said that he and Liz Frias, director of Graduate Student Ministries, are “excited to see where this new growth takes them this year.”
More young adults meeting
The excitement seems to be building, not only at St. Paul’s, but around the Madison area as Catholic communities of young adults in their 20s and 30s are growing.
Young Catholics who work at Epic meet up for lunch twice a month. The Camp Gray Servant Leadership team and staff, made up of nine on fire young adults, just finished two weeks of autumn training.
Meg Aspinwall, the new coordinator of Young Adult Ministry at Maria Goretti Parish in Madison, hosted the hit event — BBQ Summer Olympics — during her first month on the job and is already gearing up for the winter addition. And, this is all in addition to many parishes offering studies on Theology of the Body, Scripture, and Church teachings, as well as social events for young adults on a regular basis.
New Facebook page
In hopes to unite the young adults around the diocese and build upon this excitement, a new Facebook page has been created and a monthly Adoration event for those in their 20s and 30s is being held for the first time this month.
The young adult Facebook page — www.facebook.com/MadisonYACatholic — has been created exclusively for those who are in their 20s and 30s and Catholic. The hope is that every young Catholic in the diocese hears about and likes this page, allowing them to learn about what is being offered and give them the opportunity to connect with one another.
Monthly Adoration event
Venite Adoremus — a monthly Adoration event for those in their 20s and 30s — is going to debut for the first time this Friday, Sept. 16. Meeting at the Bishop O’Connor Center on the third Fridays of the month from 7 to 8:30 p.m., young adults from around the diocese are warmly welcomed to join for an evening of Eucharistic Adoration, silent prayer, music, and Confession.
Venite Adoremus hopes to help 20s and 30s Catholics to respond to Bishop Robert C. Morlino’s call to make time to “sit with Him in Eucharistic Adoration and let Him build in us that certainty of His existence.”
This event hopes to provide young Catholics an opportunity to “enter into conversation with Jesus Christ, to bring before him [their] questions and listen to his voice” as the pope asked the participants at World Youth Day last month to do during Eucharistic Adoration.
From discerning vocations to making decisions about everyday life, Venite Adoremus will give young adults a chance to “ask the Lord to grant that, attracted by the beauty of his love, [they] may always live faithfully as his disciples.”
Following Venite Adoremus at the Bishop O’Connor Center, all young adults will are invited to Adler’s Restaurant to continue spending time with one another in community.
For more information about this monthly Adoration event, visit the MadisonYACatholic Facebook page, e-mail
or call 608-821-4544.
Spirit and Truth debuts
This autumn, a new apostolate at the Cathedral Parish in downtown Madison is forming and calling any interested young adult to join a Catholic community centered on Christ in the Blessed Sacrament.
Spirit and Truth is going to bring young adults into a deep relationship with Christ through worship of Jesus in the Blessed Sacrament, study of Church teachings and Sacred Scripture, and celebrations of Catholic traditions, while forming a community of life-giving relationships.
Nicole Carter, director of Parish Life and Mission at the Cathedral Parish, has organized a core team of young adults who have spent the summer praying and planning for the kickoff this week. Beginning Wednesday, Sept. 14, Spirit and Truth (S&T) Madison will be held weekly on Wednesdays from 7 to 9 p.m. at St. Patrick Church. Each week is a stand-alone experience open to all young adults in their 20s and 30s — single and married — so they can participate as their schedule allows.
Carter said S&T hopes to meet the need she sees in her fellow young adults who are “busy and part of a stressful culture that leaves us wanting. We are searching for depth, for meaning, for truth. We will only find it when we take time to be silent and discover the living God and the love that He freely gives us. Only then will we begin to understand who we are and make decisions rooted in the truth.”
Giving young adults an opportunity to embrace Sacred Scripture and encounter Christ, each S&T evening will consist of a spiritual talk, Eucharistic Adoration with time for Evening Prayer, silent meditation, spiritual direction, Confession, and connecting with each other over drinks at a local restaurant afterward.
For more information, visit www.spiritandtruthmadison.org
Lindsay Becher is coordinator of youth and young adult ministry in the Diocese of Madison’s Office of Evangelization and Catechesis.