Amanda Petrella had always been active in her parish. She was in youth group as a teen and took part in her college’s youth ministry. But after college, she found it hard to keep that same connection as she worshipped as a young adult at Rochester’s Cathedral Community.
"I was in youth group all through college, but as a young adult, I kind of felt that that (involvement) was missing in my life," Petrella said.
That’s why the Rochester resident said she was glad to get connected to a new young-adult group at the Cathedral Community. During the past year, the group has mixed social and spiritual activities, including attending an Amerks game in February and sponsoring a parish soup supper during Lent. The group wrapped up its first year Aug. 10 with an outdoor picnic on the grounds of Sacred Heart Cathedral.
The group has about 60 young adults on its e-mail list, and a handful show up to each event, said organizer Kelly Pearson of Pittsford, a Cathedral Community parishioner. She said she hopes the group will continue to grow and attract more participants.
Pearson said the group also focuses on serving others, and they were able to gather about $400 worth of Christmas gifts and other needed items for two struggling single-parent families being served through the program Successful Pathways, which is run by the ministry Youth for Christ. The young-adult group also organized a team last year to participate in the Making Strides Against Breast Cancer Walk, Pearson said.
"We had our highest turnout (for that event)," she said. "(The walk) was very well-organized and we had a lot of fun. We went to Sticky Lips afterward."
Among next year’s activities, the group is planning prayer opportunities as well as a visit to the Abbey of the Genesee in Piffard, Livingston County.
Pearson said her aim for the group is that it helps other young adults to strengthen their ties to the Cathedral Community.
"I would like the group to provide a place for young adults in our community to have a way to feel connected to our Cathedral Community," Pearson said. "There are some people who attend church on and off who feel like they don’t belong. We hope to provide a forum for people to get involved and belong to the church community."
Liz Pearson of Greece, who was drafted into the group in part because Kelly Pearson is her sister-in-law, said her favorite activity was gathering the Christmas presents for the struggling single-parent families.
"I’ve been looking for something like this (group)," Liz Pearson remarked.
Petrella, a 2007 graduate of Nazareth College who works in human resources for the food-service software company Catertrax, said the group has helped her feel more connected to her parish. In addition, the group also reminds the parish of the contributions young adults are able to make on behalf of their parish, she said. She noted that when young-adult groups form, they are able to organize to cause change in the community — both inside and outside the walls of the church.
"To see young adults who want to participate and who care about the presence of Christ could serve to inspire the parish to be more active," Petrella said.
EDITOR’S NOTE: For details about the Cathedral Community’s young-adult group, contact Kelly Pearson at 585-355-6549 or e-mail email@example.com.
Tags: Faith Formation