By Jessica Able, Record Staff Writer
Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz celebrated the fourth annual Young Adult Mass Sunday, Sept. 15, at St. Francis of Assisi Church, 1960 Bardstown Road, with about 75 young adults and supporters.
The annual Mass is organized and hosted by the Louisville Young Catholics with the support of Dr. Carole Goodwin, the director of youth and young adult ministry for the Archdiocese of Louisville.
During his homily, the archbishop thanked the young adults for their presence and said that everyone “was called to see God’s plan in our life.”
“Every one of us in God’s eyes is so unique and special and we hope that this gathering and this Mass may be one small way in which the Lord will continue to reveal the great gift of your vocation — whatever it might be within the church — and to share that gift with others,” he said.
The archbishop noted that everyone gathered at the Mass is called to share “the joyful gift of our faith.”
Following the Mass, the archbishop led an informal dialogue in the parish center where he asked the young adults to share their thoughts and impressions of Pope Francis, who is now six months into his pontificate.
Megan Weyland, a member of St. Francis of Assisi parish, said she is happy to see the renewed enthusiasm Pope Francis has brought to the faith.
“Instead of it bringing up a lot of controversy or difficult conversations, I find myself partaking in much more exciting and positive conversations,” she said.
The archbishop noted that Pope Francis does not shy away from controversy, but it’s “not his first word.”
Rachel G’Sell, a graduate student at the University of Louisville, said she has been encouraged by the dialogue brought about between Catholics and non-Catholics since the election of Pope Francis.
“I work in a lab with three non-Catholics and about two or three weeks ago they came up to me and said ‘did you hear about what Pope Francis said?’ ”
G’Sell noted. “It’s incredible that they are keeping track. It just speaks so highly for other Catholics.”
Also during the dialogue after Mass, Jeremy and Michelle Leachman and their unborn child received the Blessing of the Child in the Womb from Archbishop
Kurtz. The blessing, which was approved by the Vatican last year, originated with Archbishop Kurtz when he was the bishop of the Diocese of Knoxville, Tenn.
Archbishop Kurtz handed out a few copies of the booklet “Gift of Joy,” that he co-authored with Monsignor J. Brian Bransfield, which contains the new blessing. He encouraged the young adults to share the booklet with expectant women or couples, especially those who, for one reason or another, have drifted from the church.
Following the dialogue, the archbishop and young adults gathered in the courtyard adjacent to the parish school for a picnic and lawn games.
Visit louisvilleyoungcatholics.com to learn more about Louisville Young Catholics.