Fire of Faith, our Young Adult Group in Northeast Philadelphia, celebrates its first birthday this Summer!
Inflamed with the love of the Holy Spirit, the group seeks to provide spiritual fellowship, guidance, and encouragement to all Young Adults in the Northeast area and beyond. The Young Adults are missioned to walk with every single person and empower them to deepen their faith, to live out the joy of the Gospel, and to become the disciples Christ calls them to be.
This significant milestone was marked with an evening filled with great food, beautiful fellowship, wonderful conversation, and lots of laughter. The gathering also provided an opportunity for the Young Adults to reflect on their experiences as members of a fairly new Young Adult group.
One of the members, Olivia Sharkey shared, “What better way for Young Adults to experience and reflect God’s loving nature than to build relationships with other people? Fire of Faith is a group that blends the core of Catholicism- prayer, fellowship, and service- into a dynamic reality for young people to grow together. At Fire of Faith events, I frequently experience good company, further food for thought, and a challenge to better live out my Catholic faith. My participation in the Fire of Faith group fulfills my yearning to be in community with God through others, and for that I am both incredible humbled and so grateful.”
Another member, Jake Arthur, stated, “I was fortunate enough to join the Fire of Faith family soon after its conception, and I have watched it grow into a healthy and vibrant community. The Young Adults are diverse and dynamic individuals, and we constantly teach one another and grow together- in our faith and in society. Each one of us brings something special to Fire of Faith, whether it is knowledge, compassion, energy, laughter, or service. Fire of Faith has been a wonderfully faith-filled and fun-filled experience, and I highly recommend it for any Young Adult in the area regardless of background or faith level.”
Nancy Lapkiewicz added, “After the first event with Fire of Faith I knew I found the right Young Adult group for me. Fire of Faith has been such a blessing in my life, with their variety of events it makes it easy to grow in the faith and make new friends. Fire of Faith has made a great impact on my life and I think everyone should be able to experience the same fellowship I have experienced. Even after a hard day at work and the 30 minute drive to the Northeast I know I will always feel reenergized spiritually and mentally after spending the night with this wonderful group of people.”
This past year the Fire of Faith Young Adults participated in over 100 events! Their most popular event was the monthly Holy Hour/Social Hour where participants have an opportunity to silently adore the Lord in silence and through praise and worship. There is also an opportunity to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation. After Holy Hour, the Young Adults are invited to meet for a social at a nearby location. There is an opportunity for fellowship in a relaxed setting.
According to Sr. Sara Butler, MSBT, “The MSBTs are especially pleased that so many Young Adults choose to attend the monthly Holy Hour in Sacred Heart Chapel. It is a blessed occasion for praise music, personal prayer, and the sacrament of Reconciliation. The men and women who come (in about equal numbers) to this and the other events here are lively, intelligent, questioning, funny, and talented! We hope they will all become missionaries in the providence of their daily lives!”
Father Joseph Zaleski adds, “The formation of the Fire of Faith Young Adult Group is one of the best things to happen to the Church in Northeast Philly in a long time. I believe the Holy Spirt wants a group such as this one to meet. Many, including me, have found true spiritual nourishment through our regular worship through Adoration and Mass.”
Over this first year, Young Adults also have gathered for monthly Bible Study, Divine Mercy Game Night, I-HOP Church Sunday, International Rosary, Hockey and Baseball games, Movie Night Under the Stars, Volunteering at the Local Foodbank, Praying in Front of an Abortion Clinic, Soup and Psalms, and Monthly Bonfires.
Sister Sara Butler, MSBT, and Father Joseph Zaleski (St. Katherine of Siena Church) serve as co-spiritual directors for the Young Adult Group. They have dedicated a significant amount of their time and talents to help build this wonderful ministry.
The Fire of Faith Young Adult group is currently collaborating with Generation Life and facilitating a “Faith in Action” series to provide practical tools and tips for the Young Adults in the Northeast area (and beyond) to live out their faith within their homes, neighborhoods, and communities. Topics include Gender Identity and the Theology of the Body, Living in the Church: Vocations, Discipleship and Making Disciples, and Merciful Faith in Action…Carmelite Style. The series has been a huge success thus far and has been attracting a good number of young adults at each event!
This October, Fire of Faith has been asked to host the Northeast Theology on Tap Series at Gearo’s Grille. Themes to be discussed are Women’s Ordination (presented by our very own Sr. Sara Butler, MSBT), Catholicism and Media, Pornography, and Contraception.
We are so grateful for the immense growth of our Fire of Faith group in this first year! And, we are filled with tremendous excitement as we move into our second year together!
Check out our upcoming events listing and join us in the coming weeks and months as we continue to grow in our ministry, and respond to the MSBT Founder Fr. Thomas Judge’s summons to “live more in the presence of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit.”