by Father Andrew Strobl
Technically, I’m still a “young adult” in the Catholic Church at 34 years old.
I attend Mass each weekend at the same church. I am plugged into my local parish community. I don’t really “church hop” anymore. I am also the oddball when it comes to my generation of Catholics.
It is not unusual for young adults to attend Mass alone or find it difficult to fit in at a particular parish. Parishes sometimes struggle to reach young adults.
However, that is not the story for every young adult Catholic. Lots of incredible work is being done across the Archdiocese of Kansas City in Kansas to foster young adult engagement. For instance:
- St. Paul’s Outreach — SPO is a national organization that serves in and is supported by the archdiocese. It has missionaries that live in a household together and serve Benedictine College, Johnson County Community College and post-university young adults. It does programming that includes Lord’s Day Suppers, praise and worship, retreats and small group formation. SPO is also developing outreach at Emporia State University and Donnelly College. More information can be found online at: www.spoweb.org/kansas.
- SALT — SALT is a young adult group based out of Church of the Ascension in Overland Park that is open to all area young adults. It offers speakers at local pubs, eucharistic adoration and Mass opportunities with other young adults. SALT has leadership that is single and married. See “SALT KCK” on Facebook for more information.
- CREDO — Credo is a young adult group in Topeka that is connected with local parishes. It offers speakers at pubs and coffee houses, service projects, brunches on Sundays, Bible studies and a house used for programming. Credo has leadership that is single and married. More information is available online at: www.credo-topeka.com and at “CREDO Topeka” on Facebook.
- COMPASS — Compass (“Compassion in Action”) is a new young adult initiative by Catholic Charities of Northeast Kansas. It gathers young adults for fellowship and service. More information is available online at: www.catholiccharitiesks.org/compass.
- Community of the Lamb — The Little Brothers and Sisters of the Lamb out of Kansas City, Kansas, have put on a number of opportunities for young adults. They have led a walking pilgrimage, offered evenings of prayer and hosted “Trust One Greater.” You can find their community information online at: www.communautedelagneau.org/en/little-monastery- lumen-christi.
- “Trust One Greater” — Regular events are put on across the archdiocese of eucharistic adoration, fellowship and time with Archbishop Naumann. The next TOG is at Benedictine College, Atchison, on March 2. For more information, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
These are just some of the current efforts underway. A number of parishes are starting to take young adult engagement more seriously.
As an archdiocese, we are blessed with many young adults who are already on-fire missionary disciples.
There is room, of course, for many more.