I went last night to St Patrick's Church
in downtown Washington for the monthly "Christ in the City" Holy Hour for young adults. I was very much impressed by the way it was organized, the beauty of the church, the lovely music that was a mix of contemporary Christian favorites and chant, by the generous silence, and by the preaching, which invited us to a deeper personal relationship with Jesus Christ and called those who do not know Christ to "open the doors of their hearts" to him. The church was darkened and I sat in the back, but it appeared that there were at least 125 folks there who looked mainly to be young professionals or students. After the homily the lines were quite long for all three priests who were hearing confessions. More information on this monthly event is here
While it was all very beautiful and the folks there seemed to be deeply devoted to our Lord, I was struck by the ways in which this gesture is perfect for those who are not intentional disciples, who may be curious, open, or seeking and may benefit from a rather unstructured, no frills, no obligation encounter with the Eucharistic-Emmanuel. The setting was typical of what postmoderns say they like in church (an experience of the transcendent, otherwordly, etc) and which the emergent church movement has capitalized on. I am sure this can be fruitfully replicated in other cities with high concentrations of young adults as a tool for evangelization, as well as an occasion for committed young adults to deepen their relationship with the Lord.
Labels: evangelization, young adults