WHO ARE YOUNG ADULTS?
The United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB) has defined young adults as “people in their late teens, twenties, and thirties; single, married, divorced, or widowed; and with or without children.” This includes people in Generation X (born between 1963 and 1979) as well as the Millennial Generation (born between 1980 and 1995). Within this incredibly broad category, there are several dimensions and demographics including, but not limited to:
- College Students • White Collar & Blue Collar • Urban & Inner City Residents
- Young Adult Singles • Military Personnel & Veterans • Suburban Young Adults
- Dating & Engaged Couples • Unemployed & Underemployed • Rural & Small Town
- Young Adult Married Couples • Seminarians & Clergy • Interfaith Relationships
- Divorced & Widowed Individuals • Lay & Ecclesial Ministers • Parent Couples & Single Parents
As well as different ethnicities and cultures, economic and social classes, and various degrees of connection to the Catholic Faith.
But what connects all these men and women together is the experience of transition – to discover their identity as adults; to find a place of love and belonging; to achieve a sense of purpose in their work; and to spiritually explore the meaning of life and the divine.
To help young adults in their journey through this period in their lives, the Roman Catholic Church has developed an intentional outreach and pastoral ministry to men and women in their late teens, twenties, and thirties – called “Young Adult Ministry!”
WHAT IS YOUNG ADULT MINISTRY?
Ministry to and with young adults is an intentional outreach of the Catholic Church. Catholic Young Adult Ministry was initiated by the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops in November 1996. The Young Adult Outreach Ministry at St. Angela Merici Parish is responding to the challenge given to us by the USCCB to effectively minister to young adults with four basic goals:
- Connect young adults to God through Jesus Christ
- Connect young adults to the Church and the Christian Community
- Connect young adults to the mission of the Church in the world
- Connect young adults to a peer community to further support and nurture their faith
Young Adults have been captivated by the consumerism and materialism of the society in which they grew up and have become apathetic and cynical. Young adulthood is sometimes a word of boredom, disillusionment, and indifference to the Church. Young adults need a non-threatening place where they can freely express their questions, doubts, fears, and even disagreements with the Church and where the teachings of the Church can be clearly articulated and related to their experience. Young adults also make some of the most important decisions in their lives about their Christian vocation, their career, and their choice of Spouse.
The Young Adult Outreach Ministry at St. Angela Merici Parish reaches out to the young adults in the pews and in our neighborhoods to welcome them into the Parish family. We strive to offer opportunities where young adults can develop and strengthen their personal relationship with Jesus Christ while gaining a better understanding of the Catholic Church and her teachings. Our focus is to serve the community while partnering with other local Parishes, and offer a way for young adults to connect with peers who share the same values and beliefs giving support for each other through life’s difficulties as well as it’s celebrations. We want our young adults to regain a passion again about their faith, and in turn to share their passion of faith with others.
Our Parish is looking to partner with St. Michael’s Parish in Elizabeth, Corpus Christi Parish in McKeesport, St. Mark’s Parish in Port Vue and Liberty Borough, and Penn State Greater Allegheny to offer social events, service projects, and a wide variety of other fun faith-filled activities for our young adults. Current opportunities can be found in our weekly parish bulletin or on our events tab. Please contact Jonathan Bartko in the Parish Office at 412-672-9641 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information regarding our Young Adult Outreach Ministry.