By MARNIE McALLISTER
Record Assistant Editor
More than two dozen young adults gathered at a nursing home last Friday night to pray.
They listened to Scripture, heard a homily about the importance of worshipping God and then took part in eucharistic adoration. Some went to confession, too.
It’s not a typical Friday night for 20- and 30-somethings. But once a month — for the past three months — as many as 40 young people have attended this new holy hour in the chapel of the Little Sisters of the Poor St. Joseph Home for the Aged. The home is on Audubon Plaza Drive, near St. Xavier High School.
The holy hour is called Christ in the City and it’s modeled on similar events in cities around the United States. Locally, it’s organized by members of Louisville Young Catholics and held on the last Friday of each month. It’s a complement, organizers say, to the group’s more social “pub nights” held monthly at Saints, a restaurant and bar in St. Matthews.
“This is the more prayerful side of our events,” said Trevor Mahoney, a member of Louisville Young Catholics. “This gives us the prayer that’s necessary for the foundation of a group such as LYC.”
Last Friday’s holy hour drew a quiet crowd of young people, including several couples and parents with babies. It also drew a few residents of the home and a Little Sister. Among the young people was Lindsay Hamilton, who organizes the music, plays the organ and leads the songs.
She’s attracted to the holy hours by eucharistic adoration, something that brought her back to the church when she was questioning her faith in college, she said.
“I think those of us who have helped to organize this are enthusiastic about adoration and meeting Jesus that way,” she said during an interview before the holy hour began. “We would like to take that to other people.
“Many of us grew up Catholic, but had never heard of (adoration). And we’ve gone on to have profound experiences,” she said.
Organizers arrange the holy hours with Sister Josephine, one of the Little Sisters of the Poor who operate St. Joseph Home for the Aged and live there on the campus.
She said the sisters are happy to provide space for the young adults.
“They are very beautiful people and they are the future of our church,” she said of the young people. “On a Friday night, when they could go out and have fun, they come in to pray for the whole world.
Their prayers are so important for our world today. They are going to save the church.
“Their name Christ in the City, is very meaningful,” she added. “These people are radiating Christ in the city.”
A different priest presides during the holy hour each month. Last Friday, it was Father Mark Hamilton, the pastor of St. Martha Church, who provided the homily and reconciliation. He said he was
surprised to find young adults gathered for eucharistic adoration “at a retirement home, of all places.”
He told the young people during his homily that it’s critical to first give praise and adoration to God, before asking God to for help. When the reverse happens, he said, “something is skewed.”
The next monthly holy hour will diverge from the others. It will be held at Mount St. Francis in Southern Indiana. It will be on the last Friday of September — Sept. 28 — and will be followed by a bonfire.
A couple of other events for young adult Catholics also are coming up this month.
The annual young adult Mass celebrated by Archbishop Joseph E. Kurtz will be held at 2 p.m. on Sept. 23 at Holy Spirit Church, 3345 Lexington Rd.
The next LYC pub night will be held Sept. 11 at 7 p.m. at Saints, 131 Breckenridge Lane. Representatives of Catholic Charities, EDGE Outreach and St. John Center will talk to the group about opportunities for service work.
For more information, visit louisvilleyoungcatholics.org.