November 21, 2014

Catholic Evangelization Outreach / Matt Faley

Young adult outreach focuses on building disciples, making saints

“The only real sadness, the only real failure, the only great tragedy in life, is not to become a saint.”

This quote from author Leon Bloy is one that frames all that we do in the archdiocesan Office of Young Adult and College Campus Ministry (YACCM).

It is always great for us to step back and celebrate the good work the Lord has done in this ministry these past seven years, especially as we see our efforts multiplying across central and southern Indiana with our most recent large-scale outreaches—IndyCatholic Intramurals, the Bishop’s Bash and Theology on Tap.

But we know that big events—and seeking, finding and inviting young adults—are only parts of what we do and means to a greater end.

Our parishes, schools, families and world are starving for sainthood. And not just general sainthood, but the individual sainthoods of the faithful. And without the realization of this call, something is missing.

“We can be deprived of the rivers of prayer, generosity, wisdom, love, creativity, charisms, vocations and grace that God intends to bless, heal, evangelize and transform the lives of billions,” noted Sherry Weddell, author of Forming Intentional Disciples.

As we begin a new ministry year, we begin a new season in our ministry as a whole. We have seen great growth and true, Christian community formed through programs and parish ministry to young adults all across our archdiocese.

Now, we continue that mission forward. Just as our Lord spent three years with his followers before he commissioned them and sent them out, we feel the time has come to build from this fruit and focus our efforts on building disciples, on making saints.

As history attests, some of the Church’s greatest saints were young adults. Truly, the world would be a different place had they not recognized this call to sainthood in their lives. The goal of our ministry is to facilitate this call in those we serve.

We have already seen heroic levels of dedication to our Lord and his Church. Small group communities of men and women are growing. Young adult formation houses are thriving around the city of Indianapolis. A large number of young adults give their Fridays once a month to prayer in eucharistic adoration and take part in small group discussion. Young adults are flocking downtown to serve the homeless through Operation Leftover.

And starting in February, we will be gathering all of these leaders together once a month to continue to build a vision for discipleship through an effort called Hearts Freely Given. This group will be the start of something beautiful. Like the disciples in the upper room, we will gather to be sent out to bring souls, especially other young adults, to the source of Life they have been looking for.

While the statistics about the Church as a whole can be hard to take, I can tell you the young Church is alive and well here in the Archdiocese of Indianapolis. The leaders that we see answering the call to sainthood each day are going to lead our Church into the future, and their sainthood is going to impact the lives of many.

And we in the YACCM office are excited to continue this journey with them.

Please join us in praying that many, many more young adults continue to answer this call through the ministry that we have been called to lead, and through the great efforts happening around the archdiocese.
 

(Matt Faley is archdiocesan director of young adult and college campus ministry. E-mail him at mfaley@archindy.org)

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