Bishop Cote reminded young adults in our diocese of the promises of God as he preached to the young adults of the diocese gathered at Saint Thomas Aquinas Chapel in Storrs for the 5th Annual Young Adult Mass and the first Mass of UConn's spring semester.
The Mass and reception drew young adults from around the diocese; college students, Crossroads for Christ members, and others who braved slick roads to attend the event. "It's a blessing to be here celebrating the Mass with the bishop. It's a moment I'll cherish to be here with all the students. My great-uncle is a bishop back in Sri Lanka. So being with the bishop today was extra special" said Emma, a junior at Uconn.
Emily, a senior at UConn, said, "It was so special to have Bishop Cote here with us for the first student Mass of the semester."
The night was certainly a blessing for all those in attendance and encouraged young adults to continue their journey with Christ and one another.
For some in attendance, going back to UConn made the evening somewhat nostalgic. "My entire Catholic journey started at the ping-pong table here," said Evelyn, a now-Crossroads for Christ member, "I entered the Church last year on the feast of Saint Joseph."
Being a Catholic young adult in today's world is no easy feat. Natalia confirmed this. "It is definitely challenging in the world today with a lot of political differences. It definitely is not easy being a Catholic young adult. There's a lot of pressure from college life and the world tells us how to be happy. It's hard to go against it. It's not easy, but it's fulfilling."
The petitions at the Young Adult Mass begged for oneness and in that same vein, attendees passionately expressed gratitude for their community.
"It's a really vibrant community here. Everybody is pretty active. A lot of people want to be here. Everyone really cares for each other," said Emily of the UConn Catholic community. Maria noted that, in particular, "it's been a gift to bond with the women in this faith community." Another attendee, John, stated, "The Diocese of Norwich and UConn have such great communities. The priests are always very nourishing and welcoming. And even in his own struggles the Bishop still sacrificed and came out here for us."
Jessica, a member of the Crossroads for Christ community, sums up the joy of the night perfectly. "As an alumni of UConn and a member of the Diocese of Norwich, it was a really lovely evening to be able to join at St. Thomas Aquinas with the Bishop. It was lovely just to see young college students continue to worship together and to come back with other Crossroads members to be in one community in the diocese."
Let us continue to pray for young adults in the Church and support each other's faith journeys. You are invited to join in praying this Eucharistic Revival-themed prayer given out at the Young Adult Mass.
In Your loving mercy You sent Your son, Jesus Christ, anointed by the Spirit,
to redeem the world through His Paschal Mystery.
The disciples on the road to Emmaus pleaded with the Lord "Stay with us."
Promising to remain with His church,
and to nourish us as the Bread of Life and Cup of Salvation,
Jesus left us the Sacrament of Salvation in the Eucharist.
Stir up in our hearts a lively faith in Jesus' real, loving, and saving presence,
and may the Eucharist become the pattern of our lives.
As a pilgrim church, may we be nourished and strengthened at the Eucharistic table,
and so "do unto others" in love as you have loved us.
Through the intercessions of St. Patrick and St. Anne,
may we remain in your love through the Sacrament of your Love.
Article and photos by Morgan Martens