Young adults gather for ‘the gift of the Mass’

STAMFORD—Every Mass is a gift of grace and blessings from God. That was the message shared with dozens of young adults gathered at the group’s monthly Mass at Holy Name of Jesus Church. “Let us never take it for granted, the gift of Mass,” said Father Joseph Gill. “We are taking part in the grace and blessings of Calvary made present here at every Mass.”

Father Gill, pastor of Jude Parish in Monroe, said the Mass following an hour of Adoration and confessions at the Romanesque-style church. “If you don’t know what’s going on, anything can be boring,” said Father Gill, after asking those in attendance if they had ever been bored during Mass. “Unfortunately, some people think it should be entertainment. The Mass is not entertainment, it is worship,” he said, adding, “We should not be asking, what do I get but what do I give?” “When I lift the Eucharist during Mass, you should be saying, ‘Lord, I give you my life,’” he said, imploring those gathered to ponder, “What can He do with your ordinary life, when you offer it to him?”

Father Gill said everyone suffers from the disease of sin. “We are all infected with this disease. The Eucharist is the medicine of immortality.” By going to Mass, he said, “We are tapping into all of the graces God has done for us.” Participants of the Mass were given the opportunity to receive Holy Communion by mouth while kneeling at the altar railing. An hour of adoration and confessions preceded the mass with musical accompaniment by Don Rickenback.

“It’s really beautiful to have these events for young adults,” said Marissa Sherlock, adding there aren’t many faith-filled opportunities or activities for young adults after college. Sherlock said she agreed with Father Gill that people shouldn’t expect to go to Mass to be entertained. “It really is good to sit and be with God.” Sherlock, along with many of the young adults gathered, headed to a local bar/restaurant for fellowship and community.

“These events are really an opportunity for young adults to meet other like-minded Catholics and see that they are not alone, that there are other young adults in Stamford that also seek such fellowship,” said Robert O’Brien, from the Development Office of the Diocese of Bridgeport. “After the Mass, we all gather at a local bar/restaurant in Harbor Point to socialize, and the priests will usually join us. It’s a special group and we’re consistently growing each month.”

(The Young Adults Mass, followed by fellowship, is held at Holy Name of Jesus Church on the second Wednesday of every month. An hour of Adoration and confessions precedes the 7 pm Mass.)