Since becoming director of youth and young-adult ministry at All Saints Parish last summer, Lauretta Beale said she’s had "a thousand ideas" for programming and events.
At the rate she’s going, Beale stands to work her way pretty far down that list.
Offerings for young Catholics have been abundant at the parish, which comprises St. Mary and St. Vincent de Paul churches in Corning and Immaculate Heart of Mary in Painted Post. Many of the events have been open to neighboring parishes as well.
Coming up soon is a program for high-school seniors, college students and their parents, "Keeping the Faith In College." It will take place Sunday, June 12, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Immaculate Heart of Mary’s Rogers Hall, 115 E. High St., Painted Post. Serving as guest speaker is Shannon Loughlin, the Diocese of Rochester’s liaison for parish and campus services. She will lead a conversation about opportunities for continuing one’s faith in college, as well as the challenges that may arise. (The public is invited. For details or to RSVP, contact Beale at 607-936-4689, ext. 224, or email@example.com.)
Among the other notable events recently organized by All Saints:
* Theology on Tap, a popular Catholic discussion and reflection series for young adults, made its local debut April 6, 13 and 20. Presented in conjunction with the Rochester Diocese, sessions featured the topics "Hasn’t Science Disproved Genesis?"; "Heaven Is for Real And So Is Hell"; and "Stem Cells, Cloning and Embryos: Why Such a Big Deal Over Things So Little?"
* A college planning night took place April 3 for parents of students in grade 9-11. Information was provided about the college planning process including the college search, applications, college costs, academic selectivity and the financial aid process.
Matthew Trosa speaks during an April 13 Theology On Tap gathering at Cap’n Morgan’s Sports Bar & Grill in Corning.
* "The Five Love Languages of Teenagers" was presented Feb. 21 to high-schoolers and their parents and Feb. 28 to middle-schoolers and their parents. A key point raised during the sessions was that teens are less likely to experience trauma during adolescence if they feel that their "love tank" is full — that is, feeling loved by their parents. An empty tank, on the other hand, can lead to looking for love in all the wrong places.
Beale said she follows the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops’ guidelines for ministry to young people, yet also strives for creativity in planning activities.
"Every idea I get is the Holy Spirit. I don’t take any credit for any of this," Beale remarked, adding that she’s gotten positive feedback for the many first-time events she has organized.
Beale noted that she ministers to vital age groups, since teens and young adults are reaching a stage of life where they’re making many important decisions. She emphasized that one’s Catholic faith need not get lost in the shuffle — and, if anything, it should blossom anew.
"Confirmation is not the end of faith formation. Confirmation is a new beginning," she stated.
A promising result from Beale’s efforts has been the formation of a core group spun off from the recent Theology of Tap gatherings. Members have begun meeting on Saturdays, before the regularly scheduled 5:30 p.m. Mass at St. Vincent de Paul, to discuss that week’s readings. Beale added that Theology on Tap was so successful that another series is likely to take place in the fall.
Overall it’s been so far, so good for Beale, who moved to the Southern Tier from Asheville, N.C., in 2015, due to a job transfer for her husband, David, who works for Corning Inc. They have seven children ages 12 to 30.
"The volunteers I have are awesome. The parish is great, Corning is great," she said. "I feel at home here."