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Young adult events invite ‘return to the Lord’

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SAN DIEGO — The diocesan Office for Young Adult Ministry has planned a series of Lenten-themed events for Catholics ages 18 to 39.

First up is an installment of Theology on Tap, which will be held on Thursday, Feb. 24, less than a week before Ash Wednesday, which marks the beginning of the penitential season of Lent.

Next, on Saturday, March 5, the Young Adult Ministry Office will co-host a Lenten Pilgrim Walk from The Immaculata Parish in Linda Vista to St. Brigid Parish in Pacific Beach.

Pamela Poe, associate director of the Office for Young Adult Ministry, said that both events will be connected by a common theme, taken from the first reading at Ash Wednesday Mass.

“Even now, says the Lord, return to Me with your whole heart, with fasting, and weeping, and mourning; rend your hearts, not your garments, and return to the Lord, your God,” the reading from the book of the prophet Joel begins.

“We’re going to be focusing on returning to the Lord with our whole hearts this Lent,” Poe said.

The Young Adult Ministry Office will conclude its Lenten programming on Thursday, March 31, with “Abide,” an evening of praise-and-worship music followed by a social.

Theology on Tap is a catechetical program that brings young adults together to enjoy food and fellowship and to listen to a talk by a Catholic speaker. The upcoming installment will run from 7 to 9 p.m. at St. Luke Parish in El Cajon. Admission is $15, including drinks and tacos.

The speaker will be Beth Davis, director of ministry advancement for Blessed is She, a ministry based in the Diocese of Phoenix.

Davis, who hosts a popular catechetical series on Instagram called “Teachable Tuesday,” is “a phenomenal speaker,” Poe said.

The Pilgrim Walk on March 5 will begin at 9 a.m., with registration, refreshments, and an opening prayer and reflection at The Immaculata Church. Participants will walk an almost 7-mile route to St. Brigid’s, where there will be a closing prayer and reflection, as well as lunch.

The event will conclude around 2 p.m., and transportation back to The Immaculata will be provided. The cost to participate is $20, which includes refreshments and lunch.

“Abide” is an initiative of the Office for Young Adult Ministry that began in 2018 and had been held monthly before the start of the pandemic. Beginning with the March 31 installment, which will be held from 7 to 8:30 p.m. at St. Therese of Carmel Parish in Carmel Valley, “Abide” will return as a quarterly event.

At “Abide,” professional musicians lead participants through a series of praise-and-worship songs, punctuated by periods of prayerful silence. There is no cost to attend.

Reflecting on her office’s Lenten events, Poe expressed hope that they might provide young adults with “a time of renewal.”

“I would just pray that this Lent be a time where we really see that the Lord is our strength and that He is with us.”

More information is available at sdcatholic.org/youngadult.

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