Saint Meinrad receives Lilly grant for young adult initiative
December 12, 2016
Pastors long to connect with a coveted demographic - young
people in their 20s landing their first full-time jobs and charting
independence while searching for community. Yet few church leaders
have the insights or tools they need to reach this emerging
generation of adults, who are often absent from church life despite
their deep concerns about faith.
In an effort to inspire and equip congregations, Lilly Endowment
Inc. is launching a $19.4 million initiative to help religious
leaders reach young adults and work with them to create new
Saint Meinrad Seminary and School of Theology, St. Meinrad, IN,
has received a $1.38 million grant from Lilly Endowment to begin an
initiative intended to improve parish outreach to young adults and
better engage them with the Catholic Church.
Beginning in 2017, Saint Meinrad's new program will identify and
partner with area Catholic parishes to explore the demographics of
their communities and educate them about the marks of young
Saint Meinrad will then help these parishes to create a specific
plan to engage young adults. Through outreach into the local
community, hosting events that include prayer, worship and
fellowship, the program will help parish congregations to form
young adults in discipleship by creating service and study
Another part of the initiative will be to assist parishes in
mentoring young adults in the rituals of daily life in the domestic
church (the church of the home). The aim is to help young adults to
form a sense of community and Catholic identity in their homes,
eventually leading them back to a parish congregation.
"I'm excited about this new endeavor for Saint Meinrad," said
Tammy Becht. "It's an honor to be entrusted with such work on
behalf of the young Church. I'm happy that Lilly is investing so
much not only in us, but also in other organizations that will be
focusing on the same vision for the young Church."
Becht is the director of Saint Meinrad's "One Bread, One Cup"
program, which conducts five-day liturgical leadership conferences
each summer for high school youth and their adult leaders. She will
oversee the young adult initiative.