by Mary Finkbone
When I moved to NW DC in 2017, I was looking for an opportunity to meet more young adult Catholics in their 20’s and 30’s, like me. I wanted to make friends with whom I could share my evening and weekend hours. I had no idea how much God had in store for me with a community that I was hoping would simply “fill my social calendar”.
Little did I know that the Holy Trinity Young Adult Community (YACs) is a ministry that plays together, prays together, and serves together. But more than that, it fosters leadership through engagement and fellowship. We are certainly known for our social gatherings like monthly happy hours, an annual Epiphany party, YACsgiving Thanksgiving potluck, kayaking, and ice skating. These social gatherings nourish our community members, many of whom are new to the area.
But as I soon found out, the YACs are much more than just a social group. We also seek opportunities to deepen our faith in meaningful ways. Weekly faith sharing has been the staple of my faith life for 5 years as we pray together about the Gospel and share with each other how the word of God intersects with our lives. Monthly YAC Masses on the second Sunday of each month are a highlight and staple for many, including YACs who have moved away and come back to visit. Twice yearly YAC retreats have been a constant, taking new forms as virtual retreats, day-long local retreats, and returning to overnight weekend retreats, all amid fluctuating COVID conditions.
We also serve the community together along with the wider parish. Social justice and social calendars have a lot in common! From serving our neighbors experiencing food insecurity and homelessness, to caring for our common home through environmental clean-up, to book clubs addressing pressing social justice issues: opportunities to engage in direct service and discussion deepen our community’s commitment to Gospel values of solidarity with the most poor and vulnerable individuals in our society.
In fostering these opportunities to create community, we form the future (and current) leaders of the church. YACs, including myself, have invested in learning through courses like Principium, offered by the Ignatian Spirituality & Prayer Ministry to deepen lay leaders’ understanding of Ignatian and Jesuit charisms that animate our parish. YACs have deepened their faith through making the Spiritual Exercises and other Ignatian retreats. Members of the YAC community serve as current and former parish council members (including presidents). They serve on the Social Justice, Migrant, Parish Life, Liturgy, RCIA, Youth Ministry, Facilities, Anti-Racism, LGBTQIA+, and Ignatian Spirituality Committees; just to name a few. Former YACs (who are now parishioners of ALL ages) build up this parish in amazing and innumerable ways.
So, if you are a young adult in your 20’s and 30’s and are looking to make some friends and fill in your social calendar, you are in the right spot! But don’t be surprised if you get a bit more than you bargained for. ;)
Learn more about the Young Adult Community at trinity.org/young-adults