So here’s a project I’m thinking on (and need to bring to Parish Finance Council, Pastoral Council, Staff and etc.) But I wanted to see if you out there might have any ideas or interest.
Here’s the basic pitch: The parish would establish (for lack of a better term at the moment) two houses of discernment, one for men and one for women. These would be for young adults following college but before they begin their vocation or chosen way of life. (So it is a temporary situation - with a limit. You couldn’t be 45 and still living there.) Many of these young adults come from colleges that had houses in which they could live with like minded Catholic people. But there are those awkward years after college and before you establish your own home that it can be difficult to find like minded peers, become involved in a parish, and have support carrying on the faith.
Without hiring another staff person, it is difficult to keep a young adult group going because they age out or move away and often without building up new recruits behind them. (I must say that current crop of young adults in Akron are outstanding in promoting community however.) These houses would help perpetuate the young adult community in several ways:
- It would help young adults form community.
- It would aid those young adults becoming involved in a parish and Catholic culture.
- Because of the nature of a house, it necessitate bringing in new people from time to time.
It would not be just an (relatively) inexpensive flop house either. Residents would be expected to:
- Go to Mass & practice the faith
- Continue their religious education
- Be involved in some ministry in the parish & local young adult groups
- Host young adult events such as service projects, dinners and formation nights.
There are a lot more details from legal issues to practical living arrangements but this is a brief overview to test your reaction. I know this has been tried at other parishes outside of this diocese with (mostly) some good effect. In the meantime, I’d like to get your input if you have any,
Thanks & God bless,