April 17, 2020

Young adults face defining choice during crisis, faith leader says

By John Shaughnessy

Amid all the unknowns surrounding the coronavirus crisis, Madison Cipoletti is certain about the defining choice that people have at this moment in time.

“We have two choices,” says Cipoletti, the director of young adult and college campus ministry for the archdiocese. “We can endure and let it pass by without being changed, or we can go against the grain and let this time be a turning point in our faith lives.”

She then made reference to Pope Francis’ address to the world on March 27, when the pope described this period of the coronavirus pandemic as “a time to choose what matters and what passes away, a time to separate what is necessary from what is not. It is a time to get our lives back on track with regard to you, Lord, and to others.”

Cipoletti is choosing this time to keep her faith a priority, and even strive to deepen it. In hoping to help others do the same, she is sharing some of the ways that are benefiting her during this unsettling time.

For her, it starts with the online Masses that the archdiocese—www.archindy.org—and many parishes in central and southern Indiana are providing on Sunday and throughout the week.

She has chosen to participate in the online Masses of Father Rick Nagel, pastor of St. John the Evangelist Church in Indianapolis. The online Masses are available through the parish’s website at www.stjohnsindy.org.

“Every weekday, St. John’s is livestreaming Mass at 12:10 p.m. [and 10 a.m. on Sunday],” she says. “Father Rick has pertinent homilies, and it is a feeling of community and joy to see how many others are on the livestream. There’s an amazing feeling of communion with the larger Church, even if we’re all at our separate homes.”

Cipoletti also relies upon the podcast homilies of Father James Hudgins, pastor of St. Jude Parish in Fredericksburg, Va. His podcasts can be found at www.fatherhudgins.com.

“Even before the coronavirus, Father Hudgins has been a source of spiritual encouragement and enlightenment for me,” she says. “He records the Gospel reading and his homily from daily and Sunday Masses. I always get nuggets of wisdom or insight that require deeper prayer and reflection—even from a five-minute daily Mass podcast.”

Another online resource she taps into is Lisa Cotter on Instagram, www.instagram.com/lisaanncotter.

“She has multiple children, and she is good at sharing how her family is prayerfully and spiritually living the quarantine time,” Cipoletti says. “She is sure to give you a lot of great ideas.”

Cipoletti especially recommends that young adults who want to deepen their faith join “virtual Emmaus groups” that are being offered through the archdiocese’s young adult and college campus ministry.

“I was previously a part of a weekly small group of women,” she says. “We have continued meeting virtually, and I look forward to it so much each week, and especially now with social distancing.

“It’s incredible to get to journey through this crisis with other women of faith, and process, struggle and pray through it all together.”

For anyone, male or female, interested in joining a young adult virtual group, contact Rebecca Kovert, event and volunteer coordinator of the archdiocese’s young adult and college campus ministry, at rkovert@archindy.org. †

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