The second article I wrote for DRE Connect on Young Adults and Moments of Return is available. The first article defined what “Moments of Return” means, and this second article addresses specific things we can do: Celebrating, Inviting to Share Story, Teach, and Connect to other young adults.
The second step is giving young adults an opportunity to share their stories. Inviting young adults to share their sacred stories is an invitation for them to begin to notice God at work in their lives. One of the biggest gifts we can give a young adult is the gift of “holy listening.” For marriage preparation, it is simply inviting the young adults to share how they met, to share about their relationship, and most importantly why they chose to be here. For baptismal preparation, it is taking the time to listen to the story of their child’s birth, the reason they gave their child his/her name, the struggles or ease of getting pregnant, and their fears and joys of parenthood. When a parent calls about sacramental preparation or religious education, we can take a moment to hear about the child, to hear about the gifts of that child, and to minister to the parent. All three moments of return gift us with an opportunity to be “holy listeners” to the sacred stories of young adults’ lives. Truly listening is an opportunity to minister to young adults and provide a connection to our parishes.
I loved your post on thin spaces at Ignatian Spirituality, and I’m delighted to discover your blog and writing. This post on “moments of return” is an important one – I emphasize the same message when I speak to parishes or ministers about young adults. And I shared your experience of being disappointed with the quality of our parish’s baptismal preparation for both our sons: there is so much more we can do as church to seize this moment for young families! Thank you for your work.