Archdiocese Local Youth & young adult

Prayer, Q&A highlight young adult event

Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann takes part in a Q&A session at a “Trust One Greater” event at Church of the Ascension in Overland Park on Oct. 3. The event gives young adults a chance to interact with the archbishop. LEAVEN PHOTO BY MOIRA CULLINGS

by Moira Cullings

OVERLAND PARK — It’s not every day young adults get to discuss current events and church teachings with Archbishop Joseph F. Naumann.

But events like “Trust One Greater” open the doors to communication between the archbishop and the young people he desires to hear from.

Over 40 joined him at Church of the Ascension in Overland Park Oct. 3 to do just that.

“Trust One Greater” — which occurs a few times a year at different venues — includes eucharistic adoration, a Q&A with the archbishop and time to mingle.

“The archbishop’s desire is for every person to know Jesus personally and for them to grow in a relationship of love, trust and faith with Christ and his church,” said Emily Lopez, consultant for adult evangelization at the archdiocese.

“This event also gives young adults a chance to pray alongside [the] archbishop and their peers — to pull away from the busyness of the world and enter into a state of adoration and meditation,” she said.

The young people listened to the Gospel, followed by a homily by Archbishop Naumann.

“This month of October is a special month devoted to Our Lady,” said the archbishop, who encouraged those in attendance to make an effort to pray the rosary.

“In our family, we prayed the rosary,” he said. “As a child, I wasn’t always a very enthusiastic participant in this devotion.”

“It seemed repetitive and somewhat boring,” he added with a smile. “And yet I’ve come to treasure that prayer.”

Archbishop Naumann also spoke about Respect Life Month and how our pro-life efforts should not only focus on abortion, but also on upholding the dignity of every human person.

“It’s that same respect life ethic that gives us such a passion for the poor and providing for those who are wounded or hurting in any way,” he said.

The archbishop touched on euthanasia, racism and the recent shootings in Lawrence and Las Vegas.

“All of these social issues are entwined with this common respect for the sacredness of life — this common vision of the dignity of the human person,” he said.

“Let us pray for our society and culture that the Lord might give us the energy and the strength to help build a culture of life, to help build a civilization of love, to help build up the kingdom of God here on earth,” he concluded.

The final part of the evening was a Q&A, where those in attendance asked the archbishop questions on whatever was on their minds.

Some of the young people wanted advice, like how to encourage a friend considering confirmation, and how to live out the respect life ethic in daily life.

Others asked about DACA and how Catholics should respond to refugees and immigrants.

Lopez was impressed by the questions posed.

“Too often, the Catholic faith can be misinterpreted as a long list of rules or doctrines that dictate life from an unknown authority,” she said. “Young people are more interested in a living faith that speaks to the concerns of their age and culture.”

“Recognizing the reality of our faith points us even more clearly to the reality of a living Christ that desires a relationship with us today,” she added.

The next “Trust One Greater” will take place Oct. 25 from 7 to 9 p.m. at Most Pure Heart of Mary Church in Topeka. For more information, contact Lopez at (913) 647-0323.

About the author

Moira Cullings

Moira attended St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Overland Park and Benedictine College in Atchison. She majored in marketing, minored in psychology and played center midfield for the women’s soccer team. Moira joined The Leaven staff as a feature writer and social media editor in 2015. After a move to Denver, Moira resumed her full-time position at The Leaven and continues to write and manage its website, social media channels. Her favorite assignment was traveling to the Holy Land to take photos for a group pilgrimage in 2019.

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