Thursday, December 13, 2018


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:

  1. It would help young adults form community.
  2. It would aid those young adults becoming involved in a parish and Catholic culture.
  3. 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:

  1. Go to Mass & practice the faith
  2. Continue their religious education
  3. Be involved in some ministry in the parish & local young adult groups
  4. 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,

Fr. V


lgreen515 said...

I am in favor.

Anonymous said...

Father, I am not a parishioner, but this is a *splendid* idea. Of course, you would have to be careful who you accept, as you said, because it should not be a flop house or a frat house (references/recommendations from their parish priests and pastors, perhaps). But I fully agree with you that we in Akron are blessed with such fine college students, who want so much to be good Catholics and who may well have vocations among them.

As a St. Bernard parishioner, we have had the grace of the presence of the Newman students and others of their age, who assist at daily Mass with us and at St. V, and who unselfishly are ready to help when needed around the parish (just this Sunday several cheerfully showed up to help us put up the Christmas trees, which is no small task.) They do indeed want to be part of parish life, and they love Jesus enough to show up at daily Mass on a regular basis, even the very early 6:30 AM Mass at St. Vincent when they cannot make the 12:10 PM Mass with us at St. B.

Because there are very few religious sisters in schools, and our good priests are stretched so thinly and have so many pressing responsibilities, Catholics younger than I (I am 57) often never encounter them as we did, at school and around the parish. The vocation may be there, but it is never enkindled because they simply did not know or see any examples of religious sisters or priests as they grew up. It may not occur to them to look into the religious life because they know no living examples, as I had the pleasure of knowing when I grew up 40+ years ago.

I think it is very wise and generous of you to think of such a way to encourage these young men and women in their spiritual lives, whether they have a religious vocation or not. If they do not end up committing to Holy Orders, they may yet become lay members of a religious order, or simply faithful laity in the married or single state of life.

I will pray for you and whomever you consult as you discern this, Father. God bless you and guide you - Sue, OFS

Marie M said...

This is a great idea, Father. You may want to chat with some of the young men at the University of Akron Roo Catholic (Newman) group who have two houses just off campus which sound like just what you are proposing. My son John (4th year college) lives in one of the houses, and there are a couple guys who have already graduated, but are still living in the house so they can maintain a support system for their faith and values.

Maybe you are aware of this -- but there has been a house of the sort you describe for women over near St. Hilary's for a couple years now. I know a few of the women who have lived there (and one who lives there now is a teacher at Hoban).

Anyway, it is a great idea! Let me know if you want contact info for the Newman house or for the women's house and I will see if I can put you in touch with them.

SKOLOPS said...

Dear father,
Good Idea. Go for it. I love it when you try new things. if it's a bust, you can take the blame. You're good at that. If it is a great success, someone else will get the glory.

You already know this, but I think there is a house like you are thinking about in Steubenville at Franciscan University. Check it out.

Now that I am thinking about it. Is there a house where Catholic men live together with DOGS? Do you know of any such place? I would pay a $1,000 a week to live with catholic men and dogs, lots of dogs, close to a catholic church. Go to Mass and then walk the dog. What a life.

I have been living with a catholic woman who likes CATs. She keeps all 32 of them in the garage. The smell is so bad even the cockroach's have left.

God and Pope Francis are dog people. It is no coincidence that DOG is "GOD" spelled backward. A dog will come when called, a cat will take-a-message and get back to you.

When God created cats, the angels asked Him what he was thinking. God said, " I don't know. I was in a Snarky mood."

Anyways, your idea is good too.

Pat said...

"Casa Guadalupe is a house of prayer and discernment for Catholic lay and consecrated women striving to live an authentic Franciscan spirituality in a communal life of prayer as well as service to the poor and the Church, under the spiritual direction of Fr. Agustino Torres, CFR."

Unknown said...

Definitely in favor. I wish this were around when I was at that point in my life! Please let me know if we can help in any way.