As history continues to be told about Old St. Patrick’s Church in these past 30 years, one of the major components that seem to be a common thread woven through the stories is about the very intentional Outreach this church has made to the young adult population. Thankfully, a marvelous mission with a creative spirit has fostered a place where young adult Catholics can feel at home and be part of a church that is actually relevant to their lives. In 2012, though the landscape of this church has changed and grown in such multi-faceted dimensions, we have thankfully become not only a place of young adults but “seasoned adults,” youth, and growing families.
Just for today, however, I would like to give thanks and praise to a segment of our young adult members who really “knocked one out of the park” last Friday with our first annual Broadway on Adams St! Through the great inspiration of Michael Neary, Mark & Aimee Scozzafave, and Megan Buckley, the young adults of Old St. Pat’s stepped forward, initiated, and produced one of the most enjoyable evenings you will find on a Friday night in January! If you find your way to the 5 p.m. Mass on Sunday at Old St. Pat’s, you will find a tremendously energetic and wildly talented group of young adults who primarily make up the choir for this particular Liturgy. Through their love for song and kinship, this marvelous group put together a cabaret of tunes from 24 different musicals including 42nd Street, Guys & Dolls, Wicked, and Rent to name just a few. I am so grateful to these talented performers and especially to Keara Coughlin on our staff who directs our Young Adult Outreach. Along with our RCIA (of which this year we have another great number of 39 young adults who are preparing for initiation into the church at Easter), Keara and her team of young adults continues to foster a great spirit of welcome and excitement for church through numerous service opportunities, faith sharing groups, socials, book club conversations, and events such as Broadway on Adams.
I am tremendously grateful for the presence of so many young adults who find their way to Old St. Pat’s. When it comes to church life, the practice of faith, and people in those years of their 20’s and 30’s, they can be pretty tough and a somewhat confusing time. While I am well pleased by the many dimensions of Old St. Pat’s, I hope and pray we continue to keep a strong focus on our young adult population. I am particularly excited and grateful to our young adult members who continue to increase and enhance our Liturgical ministries and especially our 5 p.m. Mass on Sundays. Like all of our Liturgies, my hope is to see them grow and flourish. My deep thanks to all of you who create life at Old St. Pat’s and especially our young adults in 2012.
Side note: many people have been asking me about a comedy thing that you may have seen advertized on WTTW. Many months ago, I was asked by a friend of mine (who himself is a young adult; and whose wedding I presided at last year) to participate in what is called The Chicago Stand Up Project, sponsored by WTTW and Zanies Comedy Club. Pat McGann, my friend, is one of the lead hosts at Zanies and he is the one who got me roped in to this thing! After a few meetings, I finally hit the stage back in November and tried my hand at stand-up comedy. The show will be televised on all the Fridays of February and my segment will be aired on Friday, February 24 at 8:30 p.m., Channel 11. It was quite an experience and great fun. But trust me, I am not quitting my day job to pursue a life in comedy! The Chicago Live advertisement you saw in the Chicago Tribune was strictly an interview with Rick Kogan to talk about the project. How do I get myself into these things?
Have a good week and keep laughing,
Fr. Tom Hurley